If you love a latte to-go but hate what disposable cups are doing to the environment, you’ll be pleased that Starbucks is beginning to implement a plan to phase out its disposable cups. However, if you haven’t yet embraced reusable cups, you might be wondering what this change will mean for you. Thankfully, there’s still time to adjust and there will be options for those who get caught without a cup on them. 

When is Starbucks getting rid of disposable cups?

You don’t need to worry just yet because Starbucks is making gradual changes with the aim to completely phase out disposable cups by 2025. 

Why is Starbucks phasing out disposable cups?

Starbucks wants to phase out disposable cups for environmental reasons. The company aims to cut its carbon, waste and water footprints in half by 2030 and getting rid of disposable cups is part of this plan. 

Although disposable cups are primarily made from paper, the lining that makes them watertight means they aren’t recyclable. As such, billions of Starbucks cups end up in landfill each year, not to mention littering oceans, waterways and the countryside. 

What will your options be?

Phasing out disposable cups is objectively good for the planet, but it’s still natural to wonder what this will all mean for you. Depending on your preferences, you’ll be able to choose from a few options. 

Bring your own cup

Perhaps the easiest option is to simply bring your own reusable cup or travel mug with you to Starbucks. At present, you get a discount for bringing your own cup so it doesn’t take too long before it’s paid for itself, especially if you drink coffee from Starbucks daily. 

Borrow a cup

Starbucks is bringing in a borrow-a-cup program where you’ll be able to pay a deposit of $1 to get your drink in a reusable cup and have this deposit returned when you bring the cup back. This is a good option if you forget your reusable mug or don’t want to buy one.

Drink in

Although many Starbucks locations closed their seating in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s likely customers will have the option to drink their coffee in the shop out of a ceramic mug as part of the plan to phase out disposables. 

Should you start bringing your own cup to Starbucks?

It already makes sense to bring your own reusable takeout cup to Starbucks because you get $0.10 off the price of your drink. This is an incentive Starbucks has offered since the 1980s. However, starting in 2022, Starbucks is going to start testing various financial incentives for bringing your own cup and penalties for not doing so. This will include $0.10 fees for using a disposable cup and discounts of up to $0.50 for bringing your own. 

It’s unclear yet which will stick, but now’s definitely a good time to start bringing a reusable cup to avoid fees and reap the rewards. 

Best reusable cups

Stojo Collapsible Travel Cup

Stojo Collapsible Travel Cup

This collapsible cup is perfect for people who don’t want to carry around a cup that will take up too much room in their bag. It comes in 12- and 16-ounce sizes.

Sold by Amazon

KeepCup 12oz Reusable Coffee Cup

KeepCup 12-ounce Reusable Coffee Cup

Not only is the glass cup design eco-friendly and helps reduce plastic use, but it also doesn’t stain or absorb flavors or odors. This makes it a great choice for people who switch between coffee, tea and other drinks.

Sold by Amazon

Yeti Rambler Insulated Mug

Yeti Rambler Insulated Mug

This insulated mug will keep your drink warm if you can’t get to it right away. The 14-ounce size holds a tall with some room to spare.

Sold by Amazon

Simple Modern Insulated Tumbler

Simple Modern Insulated Tumbler

If you prefer frappuccinos and iced drinks over hot beverages, this is the reusable cup for you. It comes with a straw and is insulated to keep drinks cool.

Sold by Amazon


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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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