If you go into a Starbucks in the St. Cloud area, you are most likely going to be greeted with this sign. Starbucks across the country are suspending the use of reusable cups to avoid contamination of coronavirus.

The sign reads:

We are temporarily pausing the use of personal reusable cups in care of our customers and baristas.

In addition to sanitizing procedures in all our stores, this is one more step we can all take to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Our commitment to sustainability remains unchanged.

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In addition to this temporary policy, Starbucks issued a statement on their website about employees and the virus. They are offering extra support to employees who end up contracting coronavirus and making sure they don't have to choose between work and taking care of themselves.

Starbucks has also outlined 5 steps stores are taking to be more cautious, but remaining sustainable.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. We have provided scenario-based procedural information to our store teams on how to report and support anyone that may express they’ve been impacted by the virus, including store closure decision making support.
  4. We have restricted all business-related air travel, domestic and international through March 31.
  5. We have modified or postponed large meetings across our offices in the U.S. and Canada.

There are four Starbucks locations across the St. Cloud metro, as well as a smaller location inside Barnes & Noble. I'm an avid reusable Starbucks cup person, my cup and my phone are the two things always next to me. This isn't ideal, but neither is coronavirus. If this is keeping everyone safer I see no reason to oppose the policy.

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