The number of personal mugs and tumblers used at Starbucks stores nationwide has nearly tripled since the coffee franchise introduced a discount program for users of reusable cups a year ago in accordance with a government-initiated environmental campaign, officials said on May 7.
Starbucks and 15 other coffee franchises signed a voluntary agreement with the Ministry of Environment in May last year to make concerted efforts to reduce the use of disposable plastic cups and increase the use of personal or reusable mugs.
Starbucks, for instance, gives customers who bring in personal tumblers or mugs to buy coffee a discount of 300 won (26 cents) per drink or cash points, while other franchises offer a discount of around 10 percent.
According to the ministry, the number of personal cups used at Starbucks for 12 months before the voluntary agreement was signed was 3.89 million. For 12 months after the agreement was signed, however, the number of personal cups used at Starbucks stores surged 178 percent to 10.8 million, the ministry noted.
The ministry unveiled the accomplishment in a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the voluntary agreement with coffee franchises in central Seoul and said they will embark on a new campaign dubbed “My Tumbler” to further expand the use of reusable cups.
The volume of disposable cups collected by the 16 coffee franchises also decreased 63 percent from 205,515 kilograms last July to 76,778 kg last December, the ministry said.
Separately from the campaign, Starbucks has introduced a new strawless lid since last November, reducing the use of disposable straws by about 40 percent.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)