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Modern technology makes it possible for us to craft the perfect coffee beverage at home. There is still something special, however, about heading out to Starbucks and picking one up on our way to work in the morning.

Millions of people do it, but there are also many that are concerned about the waste that is produced from all of the throwaway coffee cups.

Photo: Unsplash

That is one of the reasons why Starbucks is now offering a new program that is being tested in certain areas. It is called the Borrow a Cup program and it provides perks to customers that use those reusable cups but returns them later. After being returned, the cups are sanitized and used again with other customers. Five Seattle stores are currently testing the program until the end of May.

Photo: Unsplash

If this has your attention, you may be interested in knowing how easy it is to take part in the program. It starts with the customer paying an extra dollar for their beverage. In return, they receive their drink in a special, reusable cup. When they come back for their next visit, they can scan and drop the cup in a contactless kiosk located at the drive-through or inside the lobby. At that point, the $1 they spend is added to their Starbucks Rewards account and they are given an additional 10 bonus stars. Starbucks shared a simple diagram of how it will work on their Instagram.

Photo: Instagram/starbucks

You don’t even have to go to Starbucks to return the cup. The coffee company has partnered with the Seattle-area service, Ridwell, so you can drop your cup in the bin at the front door and they will take it for you.

Photo: Unsplash

Single-use cups have been on the radar recently since Starbucks in Korea is planning on completely eliminating single-use cups within a couple of years. Overall, Starbucks is planning on reducing its waste by 50% by the end of the decade. It may be a small step, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

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