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DEC 21, 2023

Starbucks Korea implements NFT initiative to boost sustainability efforts

by CoinNess Global

Starbucks Korea is set to take on several eco-friendly initiatives in the new year to promote the use of personal reusable cups, including an NFT wallet and a new tumbler coupon policy, according to local news outlet Newsis on Thursday (KST).

NFTs and eco-friendly efforts

In a newfound development, the brand also said that it would start issuing NFTs through a new NFT wallet on its mobile app next month as part of its eco-friendly consumption campaign. Until now, NFTs have been widely utilized in fields like art, music and entertainment due to their ability to prove individual ownership of digital assets. Starbucks’ adoption of the technology is a significant step in its implementation into daily life, which will lead to an increase in the number of real-world use cases and an acceleration in the transition to the era of Web3.
To celebrate the launch of the NFT wallet, Starbucks plans to hold a promotional event where customers who use a reusable cup for one beverage ordered via the Siren Order function will receive one Eco Stamp. Up to three stamps can be collected per day. These can be exchanged for various types of NFTs, which are categorized as Basic, Creative and Artist, and each customer can only own one.
Starbucks’ NFTs will be minted in collaboration with Seoul-based art platform and gallery Print Bakery (PBG) and PBG exclusive artist DADAZ, featuring images of unique cups, tumblers and more.
The franchise plans to hold an offline exhibition to showcase images of the NFTs as well as its achievements in corporate sustainability at the Starbucks Jongno R store located in Jongno-gu, central Seoul, early next month.

Sustainable sips

The coffee franchise is also known for offering a complimentary beverage voucher to customers who purchase a reusable cup or tumbler. Next month, this voucher will be renamed the Eco Tumbler Beverage Coupon, which customers can exchange for a tall-sized beverage of their choice. This policy is aimed at encouraging the use of personal cups and providing tailored benefits to customers who embrace sustainable options.
This new introduction was partially driven by the steady increase in the number of personal cups used at Starbucks stores around the country over the past three years. The annual number of cases has risen from 17.39 million in 2020 to 21.9 million in 2021, then 25.3 million last year.
This figure has spiked significantly this year in particular, with the cumulative yearly number reaching 26.7 million last month, surpassing last year’s total. If this trend continues until the end of the year, the estimated figure is expected to be around 29.6 million, representing a 17% increase compared to 2022.
This upward trend is attributed to the immediate KRW 400 discount offered to customers who participate, as well as an alternative benefit where customers can earn one “Star”, or reward point, for each purchase that they make. Until last month, the total value of benefits that were distributed via these two systems — with one Star valued at KRW 500 — exceeded KRW 12 billion. The ratio of immediate discount and Star rewards in this value stands at 30% and 70%, respectively.

Green commitment

Starbucks also plans to continue its No Single-Use Cup Day campaign, a collaboration with the Korea Zero Waste Movement Network that has been ongoing for the past five years. The brand dedicates the tenth of every month as a day without single-use disposable cups, giving out merchandise like mugs, tumblers, coffee ground planting kits and stickers. Since last year, various events have been organized to celebrate the day, such as coupons gifted to customers who use reusable cups the most. Approximately one million people have participated in these promotions since the campaign’s inception in 2018.
Starbucks expressed its hopes that these initiatives would act as a catalyst for positive changes in local communities by encouraging the reduction of waste.
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