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Drake Starbucks not accepting reusable cups

Drake University’s Olmsted Center Starbucks store is known by coffee, tea, and refresher fanatics alike on campus as the go-to spot for a pick-me-up before, after, or in between classes on long days of academic exertion.

Despite the popularity of the caffeinated beverages on offer, many students take issue with the long lines and limited staff, as well as a newfound trend at this particular location.

Starbucks temporarily barred the use of personal reusable cups across all locations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but recently the chain has begun allowing them once again. Although Drake Starbucks followed in the initial ban, the location has yet to once again follow in the company’s footsteps in allowing reusable cups.

“We do [provide reusable cups at my location]. I think it is inconsistent because my store allows it, but a different Starbucks does and I find it hypocritical in my opinion,” sophomore Rachel Jalloway said, who works at a Starbucks in Chicago in between semesters. 

Drake University’s on-campus Starbucks is located in the Olmsted Center and is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

“Personally, I do not have a reusable Starbucks cup, but I became an avid coffee drinker during COVID as soon as I got to Drake,” first-year Maddie Clevenger said. “If other Starbucks are allowing it, we should also be given that privilege to do it as well.”

While many understand that the risk of infection from the COVID-19 virus is indeed an issue that food-service employees face with every shift, some can’t help but wonder why they can’t bring in their own cups if they are properly cleaned before providing them to the Starbucks employees for a refill of their favorite drink.

“I usually just take the cup that they give me, and then I pour my drink into my own cup,” sophomore and student senator Sa’Daiveon Newell said. “I feel like if people are bringing in unsanitary cups that could be a problem. But also, I know for a fact that Starbucks is supposed to disinfect all of their nozzles and things they stick in cups, so I think it is silly.”

Several students also worry about the waste that Starbucks produces and how this could be significantly lowered if students, staff, and other customers of the Starbucks in Olmsted allowed them to bring in their reusable cups.

According to the Clean Water Action website, despite the regular cups provided by Starbucks being recyclable, the company uses 8,000 cups per minute, which eventually totals up to over four billion a year. 

With this information, some can’t help but realize this waste production could be significantly reduced if students were provided with the option to bring in their own reusable Starbucks cups.

Starbucks employees have declined to speak on the matter of customers bringing in reusable cups instead of regular disposable cups.

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