Will Starbucks Fill Your Stanley Tumbler?

You're likely aware of Starbucks collaborations with makers of the mighty Stanley cup. It's a match made in beverage heaven: your favorite brew and the "built for life" vacuum-sealed portable steel cups. It matters little that the coffee and cup companies share home bases in innovation-friendly Seattle, especially since each has decades of history in their own rights. For Stanley, that's actually 100-plus years. But when they collaborate, it's a big boom for the companies and a treat for loyal fans. 

With that in mind, what happens after customers purchase their first or even fiftieth Stanley tumbler or bottle from Starbucks or other retailers? Well, you can enjoy your lifetime investment in keeping drinks piping hot or chilly cold, but there's also an extra unexpected perk from in-store or drive-thru trips to Starbucks: You can bring along your clean Stanley tumbler for baristas to fill with your purchased drink. It works for any standard-size drink, and it helps reduce waste from paper cups and plastic lids. 

A few more perks come with bringing along your own personal cup, including a 10 cent discount on your drink and 25 bonus stars for Starbucks Rewards members. If you only need a water fill-up in your tumbler, it's free, the same as when requesting water in a disposable cup. It's worth noting that this perk isn't just for owners of Stanley cups; it works for any personal sustainable cup, meaning a reusable drinking vessel you already own.

How filling your Stanley cup at Starbucks works

Starbucks announced their bring-your-own-cup initiative in January 2024, a move that advances the company's 2022 commitment to reduce waste by 50% by 2030. A large portion of that waste comes from single-use packaging, including cup waste in landfills. Stanley tumblers are a natural fit for the cultural shift toward reusables, considering their slogan is "Built for Life" and their products are made with recycled materials. Like Starbucks, Stanley has sustainability goal commitments, including using this recycled stainless steel in at least 50% of their products by 2025.  

Bringing your own reusable cup to Starbucks works for U.S. and Canadian walk-in, drive-up, or mobile orders at participating stores. When ordering inside the cafe, simply hand your Stanley or other personal cup, and watch it get filled with either hot or cold deliciousness. For drive-thru drinks, let the barista know you've brought your own vessel. At the window, place the tumbler, without its lid, in a provided contactless container. It comes back the same way, miraculously filled with the exact same drink proportions as usual.

Here's how that part works: Starbucks employs a new device for replicating menu-item drinks for personal cups. When ordering most any hot, cold, or blended Starbucks drink, in standard sizes from Tall to Trenta, baristas go to work with what's called "custom beverage craft smallware." It bears designated measuring lines for each drink, allowing baristas to create drinks exactly to order before pouring into your provided vessel.