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Starbucks Korea to do away with single-use cups by 2025

(Starbucks Korea)
(Starbucks Korea)
Starbucks Korea has vowed to stop the use of disposable cups by 2025.

As part of its long-term sustainability “Better Together” project, the coffeehouse chain said Tuesday it will roll out reusable cups at all stores across the country and replace single-use cups completely in the next four years.

The new eco-friendly cups will be rolled out first at a select few shops during the second half of this year. The reusable cups come with a deposit that will be returned to customers when they bring the cup back to the store.

Starbucks Korea will also start offering oat milk as a substitute for dairy sometime this year as part of efforts to expand its range of plant-based food and drink products.

Under the new sustainability plan, the Korean unit of the US coffee giant has vowed to reduce carbon output by 30 percent. It will also increase hiring by 30 percent, reduce single-use products, expand eco-friendly stores and distribution systems and increase the use of plant-based and locally sourced products.

CEO Song Ho-seob said the new change is to “help create a sustainable society.”

“We’ll be working closely with our partners, customers, government agencies, NGOs and affiliates in achieving our midterm, long-term goals and making a positive change to the environment and local communities,” Song said in a statement.

The move comes following its decision to trial paper straws in its stores in 2018. Combined with the strawless lid, the company said it has been able to reduce 126 tons of plastic straws a year, recording an annual drop of over 40 percent.

As an incentive, the coffeehouse chain has also been offering discounts to those using their own tumbler to help reduce the use of single-use products.

From 2024, electric trucks will be introduced for Starbucks Korea’s distribution system with an additional 5,500 job openings by 2025 to raise the total number of staff to 23,500.

Of those, 10 percent will be given to those with disabilities, senior workers and women whose career has discontinued due to child care and other reasons.

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)
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