The front window of a downtown Starbucks Coffee store is shown in Toronto, May 10, 2018. Starbucks is stopping the use of reuseable cups and is halting business travel to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. (The Canadian Press/Graeme Roy)

Starbucks temporarily bans use of reusable mugs

The global coffee chain Starbucks is also being affected by the outbreak of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus. 

In an effort to reduce the spread of the virus, Starbucks is temporarily banning its customers from using personal reusable mugs in store, according to a news release.

“We are pausing the use of personal cups and “for here” ware in our stores,” Rossann Williams, Starbucks’ executive vice president said in a statement on the company’s website.

Williams added that the company will still honour their 10-cent discount for anyone who brings their personal reusable mug or asks for a “for here” cup, but will only serve drinks in disposable cups for the time being. 

The policy will in effect in over 1,400 stores the company operates throughout Canada, but it is unclear how long the temporary ban on reusable mugs will be in effect. 

To reduce their environmental impact, Starbucks has been offering a 10-cent discount for those who bring reusable cups.

Starbucks has also adopted measures to increase cleaning and sanitizing at all company stores to help reduce the spread of germs with guidance from the Center for Disease Control in the United States.

“First and foremost, the health and well-being of our partners and customers remains top of mind and our highest priority, and we will continue to act thoughtfully and courageously despite the disruption and uncertainty COVID-19 brings to our daily lives,” Williams said. 

In addition to modifying store policies, Starbucks has restricted all business related travel, both domestic and international through March 31, and changed or postponed large meetings in their offices in the U.S. and Canada.

So far there have been 95,265 cases of the coronavirus around the world and 3,281 deaths according to the World Health Organization. As of publishing this story, Canada has 36 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

With files from CBC News

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