Preventative measures in the fight against the spread of COVID-19—known more commonly as the corornavirus—have already begun disrupting everyday life for folks around the world. Because of the virus that has affected 97,000 people world wild and killed over 3,000, business travel has been banned by some companies, events are being cancelled (or are daily monitoring to see if cancellation becomes necessary), and now it is affecting folks’ daily coffee routines as Starbucks has announced that they will no longer serve drinks in reusable cups.
As per Yahoo News, Starbucks has banned the use of any non-single-use coffee cups. This includes not only those brought in by customers—KeepCups, HuskeeCups, Carter Mugs, etc—but ceramic “for here” wares as well. In a letter announcing the policy change, Executive Vice President Rossann Williams states that Starbucks will still honor the $.10 discount for those who bring their own mugs, they just won’t be used.
First and foremost, the health and well-being of our partners and customers remains top of mind and our highest priority, and we will continue to act thoughtfully and courageously despite the disruption and uncertainty COVID-19 brings to our daily lives. As part of communities worldwide, we are navigating this situation with nimbleness, learning and adapting as new information is made available.
Along with the reusable cup restriction, the company has “increased cleaning and sanitizing for all company-operated stores,” restricted business-related travel until April, and have provided “scenario-based procedural information to our store teams on how to report and support anyone that may express they’ve been impacted by the virus, including store closure decision making support.”
Williams states that Starbucks is monitoring the situation daily with hopes that service will return to normal soon. In the meantime, wash your hands.