Starbucks, like many coffee purveyors, has not yet resumed accepting personal cups. But for customers uneasy about all the resulting waste, they’ve just launched a pilot program called Borrow A Cup – testing it at five stores, four of them in West Seattle.
At a participating store, you can “borrow” one of these cups for your hot or cold beverage for a one-dollar deposit, which is refunded when you return the cup in one of two ways: Scanning and dropping it in a special box at a participating store, or having door-to-door recycler Ridwell pick it up if you’re a member. Either way, baristas don’t have to handle used cups – they’re collected, cleaned, sanitized, and returned to stores by a company called GO Box. Starbucks says the cups are USA-made “from a very lightweight polypropylene plastic … the same material used in our current cold cups and both our hot and cold cup lids, and is recyclable in Seattle.” Each cup is expected to get about 30 uses The pilot program is running through the end of May; participating stores are at California/ Fauntleroy, California/Alaska, Westwood Village, and Avalon/Fauntleroy. (the fifth is at 4th/Diagonal in SODO).
P.S. The “borrowable” cups are available for 12-, 16-, and 24-ounce drinks, but 31-ounce drinks are still only available in single-use cups.