Starbucks is not only bringing back their reusable cup program, but they’ve created a brand new one.

They’ve quietly rolled out a new Borrow a Cup program that not only cuts down on the number of single-use cups, but gives customers more ways to earn Starbucks Rewards.

After smaller tests this past fall and winter, the new environmentally friendly option is headed for a bigger rollout.

Here’s what you need to know:


Starbucks is once again accepting reusable cups in-store.

Although Covid-19 protocols halted the reusable cup program, Starbucks will once again let people bring in their reusable cups starting June 22.

In the past, baristas would clean dirty reusable cups. Not anymore; your cup has to be visibly clean to be used. And baristas won’t be touching your reusable cups anymore, either; customers put their reusable cups inside a mug, which the barista will handle to fill the cup.

Starbucks will also bring back the 10-cent discount for using a reusable cup or their in-store “for here” cups (which are also making a comeback).


The new ‘Borrow a Cup’ program is being tested at select stores.

Starbucks is in the midst of testing the new ‘Borrow a Cup’ program at five Seattle-area locations through the end of May 2021. After that, expect Borrow a Cup to expand to other major markets this summer and fall.

Right now, they’re just working out the kinks before the program goes national.



Earn extra Bonus Stars for when you ‘Borrow a Cup’.

Starbucks Rewards members earn 1-2 “Stars” for every $1 spent, but if you receive your Starbucks drink in a borrowed cup, you get Stars for your purchase, PLUS 10 Stars for returning the cup.

Getting a reusable cup costs a $1 deposit, which is credited back to your Starbucks account (along with the 10 Stars) when it’s returned to a contactless kiosk.

Let’s put this into numbers: If you preloaded your Starbucks card and spent $5 on a transaction, you’d earn 10 Stars for the transaction, and another 10 for returning the borrowed cup. That applies to each borrowed up — making it twice as easy to earn Rewards!


Starbucks is even retrieving borrowed cups from people’s homes.

Remember the front porch metal boxes for the milkman (or have you at least heard of that)? Starbucks is trying to bring that back. They’ve partnered with recycling company Ridwell to have their borrowed cups collected from your porch.

Sounds great, right? But Ridwell is only in the Portland and Seattle areas right now, and you have to be a Ridwell subscriber ($12-$16/month) to opt in to the cup collection service. Stay tuned on that one.

Starbucks Welcomes Back Reusable Cups, Lets You 'Borrow a Cup'