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Starbucks Will Now Sell You Cups for $1 in Case Your Coffee Wasn't Expensive Enough

by Maressa Brown on January 3, 2013 at 4:14 PM

coffee mugIf you're a Starbucks fan, you probably get a bit gleeful every time a barista hands you a new white and green (or around the holidays, festively red) cup with your name and your drink of choice scrawled on it. Ain't no shame. It happens to the best of us. But now, I'm hoping the best of us will be going along with what Starbucks has to offer as of today: $1 reusable plastic tumblers, which they hope will help cut down on the paper throw-aways.

'Course the company has offered all different travel and reusable mugs and iced coffee cups for years, but this is the first time you can get one so darn cheap. They note that another incentive to getting with the new program will be a 10-cent discount on coffee. (In other words, the plastic cup pays for itself after nine refills.) And stores will even offer a boiled-water rinse before refilling. How nice is that?!

Turns out, Starbucks decided to try this out on the whole country after having gone through a successful test-market in the Northwest. Which kinda doesn't necessarily add up, because the Northwest is so much more open to green-friendly ideas like this (at least according to my sis who lives in Seattle) than other parts of the country. But another way to see it is that they're living in the future, and Starbucks believes the rest of us can put on our big kid pants and catch up.

Being that McDonalds began testing a paper cup at some of its stores last year and Dunkin' Donuts plans to do the same this year, maybe this is just the tip of the iceberg. Maybe we'll soon start seeing reusable plates and cups at ALL fast casual places! I would totally bring my own cup ... dish ... even fork and knife to Chipotle or the mall food court! Hey, it's not as crazy as it sounds. It's just the next step up after bringing your own bags to the grocery store, which is something you might never have considered even 10 years ago, but now it's definitely commonplace.

That said, the only irritating thing will be if you happen to forget your little Starbucks BYOT (Bring Your Own Tumbler) at home or in your car, but hey, that happens sometimes when I go shopping, and I just figure out a way to reuse any bags I have to use as a result. But I always wish I had brought my own -- for the 10-cent discount off my total bill per bag and for the mere satisfaction that I took a small step to help clean up the Earth.

That said, this small but significant move on Starbucks part is definitely a step in the right direction.

Would you buy a reusable cup and use it at Starbucks -- or any similar chain?

 

Image via rjp/Flickr

Filed Under: eating out, drinks, going green

Comments

5
  • mrsda...
    --

    mrsdangelo

    January 3, 2013 at 7:56 PM
    I LOVE this idea. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but it would create more jobs (dishwashers). This is common practice at fast food places in Japan, and even food courts there have them. Look at food courts at Ikea! People in other countries do this all the time. It's ridiculous that the US hasn't caught on!
  • PonyC...
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    PonyChaser

    January 3, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    Ok, wait. Let me get this straight. In another post on this board, you said that the banning of water bottles was brilliant because we use too much plastic, and now you think selling PLASTIC CUPS to cut down on paper (biodegradable, renewable resource) is a great idea?

    What the hell is IN that Kool-Aid you're drinking?


  • Cassie
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Cassie

    January 4, 2013 at 12:12 AM
    When I was in Taiwan on vacation, we brought our own microwave-safe Rubbermaid containers with us when we got take-out from restaurants. Many vendors in Taiwan use plastic bags (even for soups) - some of them claim the bags are special heat-resistant, but who knows. I have several travel mugs (I use one for my coffee at work each day) but because I only go to Starbucks once in a while (maybe once a month), I never bring my mug with me.
  • Betha...
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    BethanyCO6777

    January 4, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    The only problem I see here is percieved value. People will buy these cups thinking "hey its only a buck!" and have great intentions, and then after they have forgottne the cup at home for the thrid or fourth time, they trash it, because "Hey! Its only a buck!". We have then replaced the easily biodegradable product (paper cup) with a PLASTIC one! Not the very best idea Starbucks!

    However, a a frequent Starbucks patron, I think I will start bringing my own (nicer) travel mug from now on;)

     


  • sippy...
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    sippycupmom

    January 8, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    After buying the $1 Starbucks cup, I am disappointed in them.  (1) You still have to have a sleeve for the cup, which seems to defeat the purpose.  (2) I've bought nicer $1 cups from the dollar stores! There is no doubt the cup didn't cost Starbucks much to manufacture and ship over here from China, which makes me feel like this is not a green effort but an effort to make money off of me buying a $1 cup because sales of their expensive tumblers are down... If they're going to promote a sustainable effort, they should use a better cup! And possibly offer a bit more discount to buy their cup rather than bring my insulated travel cup from home.    


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