Starbucks bans reusable cups in bid to contain coronavirus

Coffee chain Starbucks has said it's stopped accepting reusable cups amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Starbucks Corp said it's no longer accepting the cups from customers to prevent the spread of the killer bug, though it will still honour the promised discount for anyone carrying one.

Companies across the world are having to rethink the way they operate to slow the spread of a virus that first emerged in China, with some opting to freeze travel, stockpile goods and have staff work from home.

For Starbucks that means pausing the use of personal cups or tumblers in its stores out "of an abundance of caution".

Coffee chains have in recent years encouraged customers to bring their own reusable cups or thermal tumblers to cut the number of paper cups and plastic lids that end up in landfill.

Many offer discounts or increased loyalty stamps to promote the trend.

"We will continue to honour existing discounts for anyone who brings in a personal cup," Starbucks said.

"As a result, we are suspending our 5p (UK) and 5c (Germany) charges for paper cups as well, given this decision prevents customers from opting for reusables."

Starbucks, which, in 1998, was the first to offer users a discount for customers with reusable cups – said it is also introducing "increased cleaning measures" for all in-store crockery such as ceramic mugs and plates.

The coffee chain closed half of its almost 4,300 outlets in China in January to support efforts to contain coronavirus, which causes Covid-19.

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