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Dunkin’ joins Starbucks in refusing to refill reusable cups, citing coronavirus concerns

Boston, MA, 11/14/2019 -- The new double-walled paper cups is seen at Dunkin' Donuts. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff) Topic: Reporter: Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff/The Boston Globe

Do you look forward to your morning coffee routine? The new coronavirus may even affect that, too.

Dunkin’ will temporarily refuse to refill customers’ reusable cups at all shops nationwide, citing “public health concerns related to the coronavirus,” the company said in a statement.

“Dunkin’ takes its job of keeping people running very seriously. While we offer a refillable cup program as an option at participating restaurants nationwide, we believe it is right to take safety precautions,” the statement said.

Behind the scenes, the coffee chain has also canceled “non-essential” meetings, events, and business travel, the statement said. Virtual meetings are also being held with employees across franchises to “reinforce good sanitation practices.”


The announcement was another example of the impacts, both large and small, the coronavirus is having on American society.

On Wednesday, Starbucks announced in an open letter that the company would also put a pause on refilling personal cups. But customers can still take advantage of the 10-cent discount if they bring a reusable cup — they just can’t fill it up.

“As part of communities worldwide, we are navigating this situation with nimbleness, learning and adapting as new information is made available,” the statement said.

Starbucks has also restricted all business-related air travel until March 31, the statement said.

Matt Berg can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @mattberg33.