Dear Starbucks Drinker,
I’d originally considered writing this letter to Starbucks, nudging them to encourage customers to bring their own reusable cups and up their efforts in reducing waste. But then I realized it takes two. To be fair, Starbucks has offered 10 cent discounts to customers who bring their own cups since 1985. Among many other efforts, they’ve held three Cup Summits, bringing together experts in the product packaging industry to try and come up with ways to make their cups more recyclable.
But still, about 4 billion coffee cups get thrown away each year.
What’s the hold up? And what can we do to help?
The most obvious answer is to not just stop at recycling, but to try and eliminate paper cup waste altogether through reusable cups. The company has said it hopes to serve 25 percent of its beverages in reusable cups by 2015, but admits it’s having a hard time with this goal. Right now less than 2 percent of their drinks are sold this way, despite the 10 cent program and past promotions for free beverages if you brought your own cup.
If discounts and free coffee aren’t motivators enough, I genuinely want to know what is. What keeps you from bringing a reusable cup when you grab your coffee fix in the morning? Are you still looking for the right reusable cup? Is it too hard to clean? Or do you simply forget most of the time?
Let us know what the barriers are and we’ll brainstorm ideas together and compile them in a letter to Starbucks. In the meantime, check out Starbuck’s Make a Difference tool, where you can calculate the personal impact of this small change and pledge to take part.
Let’s figure this out together, one cup at a time.