Upcoming Events » Starbucks Offering Free Coffee When You Bring Reusable Tumblers

April 15, 2010 12:00 am
April 15, 2010 11:55 pm
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Lowell, MA
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Free Coffee at Starbucks in Lowell

Free Coffee at Starbucks in Lowell on April 15.

Starbucks giving customers around the world a bold incentive to swap the paper cup for a more eco-friendly option. On Thursday, April 15, the company will reward customers who bring a reusable tumbler into participating stores with a complimentary brewed coffee. This effort is just one of the ways Starbucks is collaborating with customers to reduce environmental impacts. The company has offered customers a discount for tumbler use since 1985.

As part of Starbucks™ Shared Planet™ commitment to environmental stewardship, the company’s goal is to ensure 100 percent of its cups are reusable or recyclable by 2015. In Starbucks latest Global Responsibility Report, now available at starbucks.com/responsibility, the company discloses that in fiscal 2009, more than 26 million beverages were served in reusable cups in its company-owned stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. This simple shift in behavior kept approximately 1.2 million pounds of paper from ending up in landfills.

“While our cup has become an integral part of the coffeehouse experience over the years, it has also become an environmental concern,” said Ben Packard, Starbucks vice president of Global Responsibility. “As a result, we’ve set aggressive goals to minimize cup waste through recycling and reusable options, and are collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders to drive meaningful change. In addition to working with cup manufacturers, municipalities and recyclers to make our cups more broadly recyclable, we’re encouraging customers to think about reusable cups the way they think about reusable grocery bags.”

Customers can visit www.starbucks.com/thebigpicture and use the Impact Calculator, powered by the Environmental Defense Fund, to see how many trees can be saved through tumbler use. They can also make a pledge to use tumblers every day and encourage others to do so through social tools such as Facebook.

“We’re excited Starbucks is joining forces with customers to reduce cup waste in such a public way. It’s through this kind of collective action that we’ll be able to address some of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time,” said Julie Blackwell, Director of Conservation International’s Team Earth. “People can make positive choices without making sacrifices – they can still enjoy their coffee ritual, but by using a reusable cup, they reduce energy, water and CO2 from the cup production process as well as keep waste out of landfills.”

To illustrate the importance of the customer challenge, Starbucks invited thousands of people to exchange their cups for reusable tumblers while creating a symbolic Sequoia mural for Starbucks on March 17 and 18 in New York City. The mural symbolized the collective impact individuals can make, and during this event, 5,000 individuals pledged to continue using tumblers. Customers can visit www.starbucks.com/thebigpicture to enjoy a behind-the-scenes video of the making of the mural and learn more about actions they can take.

In addition to encouraging customers to opt for reusable cups, Starbucks is working to develop a comprehensive recyclable cup solution. The company is collaborating with local municipalities, raw materials suppliers, cup manufacturers, retail and beverage partners, recyclers, NGOs and academic experts to improve recycling infrastructures. On April 22-23 Starbucks will convene these stakeholders in Boston at its second cup summit. Participants will discuss advances since the 2009 summit and strategies for the future.

To learn more about Starbucks environmental stewardship efforts, visit starbucks.com/responsibility.

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