With over 15,000 stores in the United States alone, Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse chain in the world. This Seattle-based company has become synonymous with grabbing a quick coffee, hosting business meetings, and offering specialty seasonal drinks.

But did you know that you can bring your own reusable cup to Starbucks? Here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, Starbucks allows and encourages customers to bring their own cups to its stores for environmental sustainability reasons.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about bringing your own cup or tumbler to Starbucks, from the policies around personal cups to tips for making the process smooth and enjoyable.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, Starbucks allows and encourages customers to bring reusable cups and tumblers from home to its stores in an effort to reduce waste from single-use cups.

In this approximately 3,000 word guide, we’ll cover the Starbucks policy on personal cups, the benefits and downsides of bringing your own cup, steps for ordering with a personal cup, cleaning and care recommendations, reusable cup ideas and recommendations, how mobile ordering works with personal cups, and tips for making the process easy.

Starbucks Policy on Personal Cups

As an environmentally conscious company, Starbucks has implemented a policy that allows customers to bring their own cups for their beverages. This initiative aims to reduce waste and promote sustainability.

However, there are certain guidelines and considerations that customers should be aware of when bringing their own cup to Starbucks.

Company Stance on Reusable Cups

Starbucks encourages customers to bring their own reusable cups by offering a discount on their beverage purchase. By using a personal cup, customers can contribute to the company’s efforts in reducing single-use plastic waste.

It’s a win-win situation where customers get to enjoy their favorite Starbucks drink while also making a positive impact on the environment.

According to Starbucks’ official website, customers who bring their own cup receive a $0.10 discount on their drink. This discount applies to all sizes of hot and cold beverages. So whether you prefer a tall latte or a venti iced coffee, you can save some money while being eco-friendly.

Discounts and Rewards for Bringing Your Own Cup

In addition to the discount offered for using personal cups, Starbucks also has a rewards program called Starbucks Rewards. This program allows customers to earn stars for their purchases, which can then be redeemed for free drinks and other perks.

By bringing your own cup, you not only save money but also earn stars towards freebies.

Starbucks Rewards members also enjoy exclusive benefits, such as free refills on brewed coffee or tea during the same visit. So if you’re a frequent Starbucks customer, bringing your own cup can lead to even greater savings and rewards.

Restrictions and Exceptions to Personal Cup Use

While Starbucks encourages the use of personal cups, there are a few restrictions and exceptions to keep in mind. First, the cup must be clean and fit within Starbucks’ standard drink sizes – tall (12 oz), grande (16 oz), and venti (20 oz for hot beverages and 24 oz for cold beverages).

Additionally, there are some situations where personal cups may not be accepted. For example, during peak hours or when the store is particularly busy, Starbucks may temporarily suspend the use of personal cups to ensure efficient service and minimize wait times.

It’s also worth noting that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Starbucks has temporarily paused the use of personal cups as a precautionary measure to prioritize the health and safety of both customers and employees.

Customers are encouraged to check with their local Starbucks store for the most up-to-date information on personal cup policies.

Benefits and Downsides of Bringing Your Own Cup

Environmental Benefits

Bringing your own cup to Starbucks can have several environmental benefits. By using your own cup, you can help reduce the amount of waste generated from single-use cups. According to the Starbucks website, the company aims to serve 5% of its beverages in reusable cups by 2025, which would have a significant positive impact on the environment.

By using your own cup, you are contributing to this goal and helping to reduce the consumption of paper and plastic cups.

Potential Cost Savings

Bringing your own cup to Starbucks can also save you money in the long run. Many Starbucks locations offer a small discount to customers who bring their own cups. This discount can add up over time, especially for frequent Starbucks visitors.

By using your own cup, you can enjoy your favorite beverages while also saving a few dollars with each visit.

Possibility of Cross-Contamination

While there are benefits to bringing your own cup, it is important to consider the possibility of cross-contamination. Starbucks takes hygiene and cleanliness seriously, but there is always a small risk that your cup could come into contact with allergens or other substances if it is not properly handled.

If you have specific allergies or dietary restrictions, it may be best to use a disposable cup to ensure that there is no risk of cross-contamination.

Extra Things to Remember and Carry

Bringing your own cup to Starbucks requires a little bit of extra effort. You need to remember to bring your cup with you each time you visit, and you also need to clean and maintain your cup regularly.

Additionally, carrying a reusable cup can take up space in your bag or be a little cumbersome to carry around. However, many people find that the benefits of using their own cup outweigh the inconvenience of these extra steps.

How to Order at Starbucks with a Personal Cup

Many Starbucks customers wonder if they can bring their own cup to the popular coffee chain. The answer is yes! Starbucks encourages customers to use their personal cups in order to reduce waste and help the environment.

If you’re interested in bringing your own cup to Starbucks, here’s how you can do it.

Ordering In-Store with a Personal Cup

When ordering in-store with your personal cup, simply let the barista know that you would like to use your own cup for your beverage. Hand over your cup to the barista, and they will gladly fill it up with your desired drink.

It’s important to note that Starbucks offers a small discount for customers who bring their own cups, so not only will you be helping the planet, but you’ll also save a little money.

Mobile Ordering with a Personal Cup

If you prefer to use the Starbucks mobile app to place your order, you can still bring your own cup. When customizing your order, there is an option to indicate that you will be using your own cup. Simply select this option, and your order will be prepared with your personal cup in mind.

When you arrive at the store, just pick up your drink and enjoy!

Going Through the Drive-Thru with Your Cup

For those who love the convenience of the Starbucks drive-thru, you’ll be happy to know that you can still bring your own cup. When placing your order through the drive-thru speaker, let the barista know that you will be using your own cup.

When you reach the pickup window, hand over your cup, and they will fill it up with your drink of choice. It’s a simple way to reduce waste while still enjoying your Starbucks on the go.

So, the next time you’re craving a Starbucks beverage, don’t hesitate to bring your own cup. Not only will you be making a positive impact on the environment, but you’ll also enjoy a small discount on your drink. It’s a win-win situation for both you and the planet!

Cleaning and Care Tips for Reusable Cups

Bringing your own cup to Starbucks is not only an eco-friendly decision but also a convenient way to enjoy your favorite beverages. However, it’s important to properly clean and care for your reusable cup to ensure the best experience.

Here are some tips to help you maintain your cup’s cleanliness and longevity.

Washing Methods and Frequency

Regular cleaning is crucial to keep your cup free from bacteria and unwanted odors. The recommended washing method for most reusable cups is to hand wash them with warm water and dish soap. This helps to remove any residue left behind from previous drinks.

For a deeper clean, you can also use a bottle brush to reach all the nooks and crannies of your cup. Make sure to rinse it thoroughly to remove any soap residue before using it again.

As for the frequency of washing, it’s best to wash your cup after every use. This ensures that any leftover drink or bacteria is eliminated, preventing the growth of mold and other harmful microorganisms.

Avoiding Stains and Odors

To prevent staining and odors in your reusable cup, it’s recommended to avoid using it for drinks that are known to leave stubborn stains, such as coffee or tea. If you do use your cup for these beverages, make sure to rinse it immediately after finishing your drink to minimize the chances of stains setting in.

Additionally, you can try using a baking soda paste or a mixture of vinegar and water to remove stubborn stains and odors. Simply apply the paste or solution to the affected areas, let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.

Extending Your Cup’s Lifespan

To extend the lifespan of your reusable cup, it’s important to handle it with care. Avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures, as sudden changes in temperature can cause it to crack or warp. Additionally, try not to drop your cup or subject it to rough handling, as this can lead to damage.

When not in use, store your cup in a clean and dry place to prevent the growth of mold or mildew. It’s also a good idea to periodically inspect your cup for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or leaks, and replace it if necessary.

Remember, by taking proper care of your reusable cup, you can enjoy your favorite Starbucks beverages in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way for years to come!

Reusable Cup Ideas and Recommendations


Bringing your own tumbler to Starbucks is not only eco-friendly, but it can also save you money. Starbucks offers a discount to customers who bring in their own cups, so you can enjoy your favorite beverages while reducing waste and keeping some extra cash in your pocket.

Tumblers come in a variety of sizes and designs, allowing you to choose one that suits your style and needs. They are also typically made of durable materials, such as stainless steel or BPA-free plastic, which ensures that your drinks stay hot or cold for longer periods.

So, why not invest in a tumbler and sip your coffee in style?


If you prefer a more traditional approach, consider bringing a mug from home. Mugs are a classic and timeless option for enjoying your coffee or tea. They come in various sizes and designs, allowing you to personalize your drinking experience.

Moreover, using a favorite mug can add a touch of comfort and familiarity to your daily routine. Just imagine sipping your morning brew from a mug that brings back nostalgic memories or reflects your personality. It’s a simple pleasure that can make your Starbucks experience even more enjoyable.

Mason Jars

Mason jars have become increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional cups. They are not only stylish but also highly versatile. Mason jars come in different sizes, allowing you to choose one that suits your beverage preferences.

Plus, they are made of glass, which is a more sustainable option compared to plastic. You can even add a reusable straw for a trendy and eco-friendly touch. So, why not give mason jars a try and sip your Starbucks drinks with a touch of rustic charm?

Collapsible Cups

For those on the go, collapsible cups are an excellent option. These cups can be easily folded or collapsed, making them highly portable and space-saving. They are often made of silicone, which is a durable and flexible material.

Collapsible cups are perfect for travelers, commuters, or anyone who enjoys their Starbucks beverages on the move. You can simply tuck it into your bag or pocket when you’re done, making it convenient and hassle-free. So, grab a collapsible cup and enjoy your Starbucks wherever life takes you.

Other Unique Options

If none of the above options appeal to you, don’t worry! There are plenty of other unique alternatives to consider. From bamboo cups to ceramic travel mugs, the options are endless. Some companies even offer customizable cups, allowing you to add your own personal touch.

So, get creative and find a reusable cup that truly reflects your style and values. Remember, every effort counts when it comes to reducing waste and making a positive impact on the environment.

Tips for Bringing Your Own Cup

Have Your Order Ready

When bringing your own cup to Starbucks, it’s important to have your order ready to go. This not only helps the baristas serve you more efficiently, but it also ensures that you get your drink exactly how you like it.

Whether it’s a grande latte with almond milk or a venti iced coffee with caramel syrup, knowing your order ahead of time saves you and the baristas time and ensures a smooth and enjoyable experience. Plus, you’ll be able to start sipping on your favorite drink sooner!

Come at Less Busy Times

If you’re planning on bringing your own cup to Starbucks, try to come during less busy times. This will help reduce the wait time and allow the baristas to give your cup the attention it deserves. Weekday mornings and early afternoons tend to be less crowded, so you can enjoy your coffee without the hustle and bustle of a busy Starbucks store.

Plus, you might even have a chance to strike up a conversation with the friendly baristas or enjoy some quiet time with your favorite book.

Be Prepared to Leave Your Cup

When bringing your own cup to Starbucks, it’s important to be prepared to leave your cup at the counter while your drink is being made. This is to ensure that your cup remains clean and hygienic throughout the process. Don’t worry, though!

Starbucks takes great care in handling your cup and will return it to you once your drink is ready. Just think of it as a small sacrifice for the environment and a chance to show off your stylish reusable cup to fellow coffee lovers.

For more information about Starbucks’ policies on bringing your own cup, you can visit their official website: https://www.starbucks.com/responsibility/environment/reusable-cups.


Bringing your own reusable cup, mug, or tumbler to Starbucks is a great way to reduce waste and do your part for the environment. While there are a few extra things to remember, like having your order ready and washing your cup routinely, the benefits outweigh any small inconveniences.

Starbucks actively welcomes and encourages personal cups, so don’t be shy about bringing yours from home. With the right preparation and expectations, you can seamlessly bring your own cup to any Starbucks store or drive-thru for your daily coffee or tea.

We hope this comprehensive guide gave you all the details you need to start reducing single-use cups every time you stop into Starbucks!

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