Starbucks’ ecological turning point: towards farewell to the legendary disposable cup
Between spelling gaffes, misspelled names and “instagrammable” photos, the iconic Starbucks glasses have made the history of the brand and also that of all the millenials who have been photographing them for decades as if they were a work of art. With the unmistakable effigy of the long-haired mermaid, Starbucks cups have become a recognizable emblem across the globe, communicating (veiled) the message: “I am enjoying coffee from the most famous brand in the world.” However, today, in an era where environmental sustainability is at the center of attention, these glasses are preparing to make their exit from the scene.
For an entire generation, the Starbucks cup was a cornerstone of consumer society, first in the United States and then in the rest of the world. However, due to environmental pressures and growing consumer desire for more sustainable options, Starbucks has decided to make a seismic shift.
READ ALSO: Starbucks accused of fraud: there is no fruit in fruit drinks
Starbucks’ commitment to a sustainable future
In the cup of change, Starbucks dived in with unprecedented courage, embracing an audacious goal: abandon single-use cups starting in 2030. These iconic coffeehouse displays represent one of the most glaring corporate wastes, and this wasn’t the first ambitious dream spun by Starbucks. Already back in 2008, the company had committed to making its glasses completely recyclable or reusable by 2015but the result turned out to be only a partially fulfilled promise.
The legendary paper cup, dressed in white and adorned with a green mermaid, has played a cardinal role in the evolution of consumer habits in the field of takeaway coffee. In the 1980s, when Starbucks launched its on-the-go coffee shop venture, Styrofoam cups were the order of the day. But 1987 brought about a turning point with the launch of the paper cup, immortalized on screens and in television skirmishes. Since that time, the disposable cup has become an icon inextricable from the Starbucks experience itself.
However, now is the time to part with this icon without regrets. The march of the environment and the symphony of sustainability must direct the new Starbucks symphony, even when it comes to setting aside something so strongly rooted in symbolism. Therefore, the well-known US coffee chain is paving a new path towards a future where coffee on-the-go can be enjoyed without casting an ominous shadow on the ecosystem.
The goal of extinguishing single-use cups is not one to be taken lightly. Starbucks serves a large global customer base and must manage this transition quickly and efficiently. While the introduction of reusable alternatives has been a positive move, the number of customers who prefer them still remains relatively small. Many still give in to the temptation of the convenience of disposable cups.
A necessary change
Change is inevitable and necessary. Starbucks is one of the most popular coffee chains in the world and can positively influence the entire industry. Some independent bars and venues have already adopted sustainable practices, but a giant like Starbucks can really make a difference.
Starbucks’ plan also includes the search for new, more recyclable materials for the production of disposable cups. This compromise is essential as the company strives to make reusable cups the first choice for the public.
READ ALSO: This is how companies embrace sustainability
Subscribe to the newsletter