Starbucks stops customers using own cups in bid to contain coronavirus

LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s largest coffee chain Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) has stopped accepting reusable cups from customers to prevent the spread of coronavirus, though it will still honor the promised discount for anyone carrying one.

Companies across the world are having to rethink the way they operate to slow the spread of a virus that first emerged in China, with some opting to freeze travel, stockpile goods and have staff work from home.

For Starbucks that means pausing the use of personal cups or tumblers in its stores out “of an abundance of caution”.

Coffee chains have in recent years encouraged customers to bring their own reusable cups or thermal tumblers to cut the number of paper cups and plastic lids that end up in landfill.

Many offer discounts or increased loyalty stamps to promote the trend.

“We will continue to honour existing discounts for anyone who brings in a personal cup,” Starbucks said.

“As a result, we are suspending our 5p (UK) and 5c (Germany) charges for paper cups as well, given this decision prevents customers from opting for reusables.”

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