Starbucks Stops Filling Reusable Cups Amid Coronavirus Concerns

The discount, however, is still in effect.

In the wake of the continued spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, many events have been canceled, air travel has been curtailed, and businesses have temporarily closed. Starbucks was one of the early businesses to react to the outbreak in China when it shuttered over 2,000 locations last month (most of which have since reopened). But today, the coffee giant is taking precautionary steps in the U.S. by suspending its practice of allowing customers to bring in reusable cups.

"We are taking guidance from the CDC and local health authorities, we have increased cleaning and sanitizing for all company-operated stores to help prevent the spread of all germs, adding paid time for our partners supporting this work," Starbucks executive vice president Rossann Williams said in an open letter to stakeholders yesterday that detailed the company's response to the virus. "We are pausing the use of personal cups and 'for here' ware in our stores. We will continue to honor the 10-cent discount for anyone who brings in a personal cup or asks for 'for here' ware," she said.

Starbucks reusable coffee cups on sale in cafe in New York.
Mariakray/Getty Images

So yes, while you can still bring in your own cup or request non-single-use serving items, for the time being, those requests won't be granted, but will still result in any applicable discounts.

In its coverage of the Starbucks memo, the Wall Street Journal also reports that the country's largest fast food chain, McDonald's, is making a similar attempt to allay health concerns by asking employees to clean surfaces more often and to offer hand sanitizer to customers.

Here's more information about how to prepare your home kitchen during the coronavirus outbreak.

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