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Starbucks commits to eliminating waste, encourages reusable mugs

(SEATTLE) — Starbucks says green isn’t just a bold color for its logo or signage, but an aspiration and reminder to be a resource positive company that helps the planet in proactive ways.

Ahead of the company’s annual shareholder meeting Wednesday and the announced retirement of CEO Kevin Johnson, Starbucks is sharing some of its efforts to help the company reduce waste by 50% by 2030.

The efforts will include reusable cup programs and a new app to help employees better sort where waste and recycling should go at a specific location, the company said in a press release Tuesday.

Over the last few years the Seattle-based coffee company has tested and prepared to scale various sustainability initiatives including a pilot program for reusable cups.

“We have a bold long-term sustainability vision and ambitious goals for 2030,” Johnson said in a statement. “Starbucks partners around the world are passionate about protecting our planet and are at the very center of driving the innovation that enables us to give more than we take from the planet.”

To help reach its goal, Starbucks says it will shift away from single-use plastics and pilot more of the reusable cup programs in six markets around the world.

By the end of 2023, customers will be able to use their own personal reusable cups at U.S. and Canada locations for both in-store and drive-thru or mobile orders, the company says.

“Our goal, by 2025, is to create a cultural movement towards reusables by giving customers easy access to a personal or Starbucks provided reusable to-go cup for every visit, making it convenient and delightful to reuse wherever customers are enjoying their Starbucks Experience,” the company said.

The company announced Wednesday that Johnson will be step down and remain a special consultant to the board through September. Howard Schultz will serve as interim CEO and help with the search process and onboarding of the company’s next leader.

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