Starbucks introduces $1 reusable cup to cut down on waste
January 3rd, 2013
01:45 PM ET
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Starting Thursday, Starbucks customers will have the option to save their planet - and their wallets - a dime at a time. The coffee giant is offering $1 plastic cups, which can be reused for drink purchases at a discount of ten cents.

Jim Hanna, the director of environmental affairs at Starbucks, told USA Today that while the company has sold reusable tumblers for some time and offered the ten cent discount, he expects that the modest price of its new one, available at company-owned stores in the U.S. and Canada, will encourage consumers to take action more frequently. The new effort comes largely in response to consumer criticism over the volume of paper coffee cup waste - approximately 4 billion cups globally each year - generated by Starbucks.

The responsibility section of Starbucks' website details the company's efforts to work with vendors and local authorities to get more of its paper cups recycled, and to host recurring "Cup Summits" collaborating on the issue with industry leaders from MIT, Tim Horton’s, Georgia-Pacific and Action Carting Environmental Services. By 2015, Starbucks plans to have front-of-store recycling in all its company-owned locations.

According to a 2011 report issued by Starbucks, that year, customers used personal tumblers more than 34 million times - nearly 2% of all beverages served in global company-owned stores. While this represented a 55% increase in personal tumbler use from 2008's tally, Starbucks admitted to challenges in tracking cup use both in and away from their stores, and reduced the company's goal of 25% reusable cups by 2015 to 5%.

The reusable cups are made in China, and have fill lines inside denoting "tall," "grande" and "venti"-sized drinks. The cups will be rinsed with boiling water by Starbucks employees before they're refilled, reducing the risk of cross-contamination, but at least one more challenge remains: will customers actually remember to bring them into the store?



soundoff (552 Responses)
  1. golfboy

    Hey Starbucks you want to make a difference charge a dollar for the cup and give the first coffee free in it.

    January 3, 2013 at 9:08 am |
  2. bird

    Sounds nice but is anyone thinking of the waste in water to rinse the cup?

    January 3, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • smartaz

      I'm sort of thinking of the waste in money for paying $4 for a cup of coffee by going to Starbucks.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • scott bleyle

      they probably use the rinse H2O to make the coffee thereby continuing to recycle for your health.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:15 am |
  3. Dave

    To me personally, $.10 is a joke of a discount especially when the price of regular coffee is around $2.00. I will stick to the free terrible coffee my work provides and splurge once a year for a pumpkin spice latte (over $5.00 with $.10 off) thank you.

    January 3, 2013 at 8:46 am |
  4. smartaz

    Reusable cups...this is something revolutionary?

    January 3, 2013 at 8:42 am |
    • dhall

      Did you read the article?

      January 3, 2013 at 9:02 am |
      • dougsbeard

        its not that revolutionary because there are a lot of coffee companies out there that use recyclable or compostable cups. the wax coating inside a starbucks cup makes the cup 100% non-recyclable. they announced about 6yrs ago they would have the issue fixed by 2015 (which means they were just waiting for their contract to run out on their current cup supplier). charging $1 for a reusable cup is just starbucks way of making money on the issue instead of following suit with other companies.

        January 3, 2013 at 9:22 am |
  5. Maynard

    People need to quit carrying drink cups around everywhere they go. It is obnoxious, and has become an epidemic. IT IS THE NEW INTERNATIONAL SYMBOL OF IGNORANCE.

    January 3, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • smartaz

      No, that is the people who walk into things while they are texting while walking.

      January 3, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • ben

      Somebody carrying a cup is obnoxious? Life must be hard for you.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • SteveDave

      How is it obnoxious? Here's an idea, why don't you worry about yourself and not worry so much about what other people are doing.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:17 am |
  6. Ram Riva

    anything that cuts waste is worth a shot...I will definitely do it....for me it would be great if Starbucks had the option of drinking coffee or tea in a coffee house type ceramic mug....where they wash it and reuse it for those of us who love to spend time at Starbucks....I'm for it...

    January 3, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • Sandi

      They do offer that. You have to ask for it, so it's a pain, and most people don't know it, but they do have reusable porcelain (or something nice) cups.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  7. A Different Geo

    How much more energy, whether from gas or electricity, will be consumed to heat water for the sole purpose of rinsing plastic cups? Where will that energy come from and what are the consequences of consuming more of it? What are the consequences of producing more waste-water? What are the relative environmental impacts of manufacturing and distributing the cups? What becomes of the plastic cups that will undoubtedly end up on the side of the road vs the paper cups?

    Does switching really "save the planet", or is it only window dressing?

    January 3, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • AnotherAmy

      Excellent questions. Maybe this is all just "green washing" on Stabucks part.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:01 am |
  8. Johnny 5

    If people actually reuse these plastic cups then this can be a good thing. The majority of plastics set aside for recycling, end up in the landfill as trash. It's cheaper to produce new plastics vs the recycling process.

    Atleast Starbucks is trying to make improvements. Our government certainly isn't.

    January 3, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • SteveDave

      Our government can't even handle it's most basic tasks. Don't load anything else on them.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:18 am |
  9. Drew

    How will this work with drive through?

    January 3, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • Trevor

      You just tell them you have your own cup when you order. I do it all the time and it's never been a problem.

      January 3, 2013 at 8:32 am |
      • Daniel

        Wouldn't that slow down the drive-thru?

        January 3, 2013 at 9:20 am |
        • Al

          Unless they're making your drink in another cup and then pouring it into your tumbler when you get to the front, it would slow down the drive through. Of course, that defeats the purpose of not wasting a paper cup. I worked at Starbucks a few years ago before graduating from college and I was always glad that we didn't have a drive through. I don't go to Starbucks often but the service inside is much worse at the locations with drive throughs. The staff are always overly focused on keeping that line moving and they ignore those inside.

          January 3, 2013 at 9:49 am |
  10. Karen

    I don't support China. I will not buy a cup made in China. U can use other recyclable cups that support the USA. Give a discount on all reusable cups.

    January 3, 2013 at 7:43 am |
    • Christie

      Karen, they do give a discount when bringing your own cup. I have been doing this for years. They are just trying to get more people to do it.

      January 3, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • Bob

      Good for you Karen! I agree with you 100% on not buying anything made in China-if possible. Come on Starbucks, why are you buying cups made in China! SHAME ON YOU!! If all Starbucks has is China made cups, I will not drink Starbucks anymore!

      January 3, 2013 at 8:24 am |
      • Ztom

        All of the Starbucks mugs I have seen say Made in USA. But they cost more than $1.

        If you want a $1 cup, you will have to deal with Made in China.

        If you want to support the USA, buy one of their other cups.

        Either way will get you the 10 cent discount. In fact, bring in your own cup from home and you will get the 10 cent discount

        January 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • palintwit

      You sound like a racist.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:19 am |
      • Daniel

        How is that racist to support American made v/s China made products?

        January 3, 2013 at 9:22 am |
        • Jerry

          Seems racist because the statement was "If all Stabucks has is China made cups, I will not drink Stabucks anymore!" versus "I will only drink Starbucks if they have American-made cups."

          January 3, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • Ellen

      I tried using a reusable cup when buying my frappuccinos. I was told that because of the machine that they make the frappuccinos in they couldn't use a reusable cup and that they would have to use one of their's anyway. I have stopped buying Starbucks because I only drink frozen coffees, and Starbucks won't reuse my cup.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:39 am |
      • Jerry

        I'm on the same boat as you, but this still makes absolutely no sense. Yes, they use special blenders to make their frozen drinks...that they then poor into a plastic cup. WTH?

        January 3, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  11. Underwhelmed

    I agree with those who have criticized the use of BPA-laden plastic cups from China (of all places). Second, there is more than enough profit in all Starbucks drinks to afford a larger discount for those bringing their own containers: at least 25 cents. If Starbucks - and everyone else, like municipalities - truly wants to encourage recycling, they must make it more enticing economically. Put at least a quarter on each and every bottle and can, and watch recycling increase significantly.

    January 3, 2013 at 7:42 am |
  12. Dennis

    I have been using my personnel mug at Dunkin for years. 99 cents for a refill. Starbucks charges me a grande price..

    January 3, 2013 at 7:32 am |
  13. WorthATryBut...

    I think they underestimate Americans' willingness to throw away money on coffee. People will impulsively try to do the right thing, but without the re-use mindset we'll see an increase in plastic Starbucks cups in landfills.

    January 3, 2013 at 7:21 am |
  14. MikeMongo

    Just when I thought I'd seen it all from CNN, then I see THIS article. Blatant marketing to the feeble minded, but the worst part was the sad demographic/marketing survey they solicit at the end of the article, furthering the apparent business relationship CNN shares with Starbucks. And the sheep keep bleating at each other

    January 3, 2013 at 7:19 am |
    • palintwit

      Apparently it works. The CNN readers are not the brightest people in the world.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:20 am |
  15. josam

    what?

    January 3, 2013 at 7:07 am |
  16. Carol Williams

    Although I might remember I thought "plastic" never degades and paper does and what about the BPA in plastic. I don't think I WANT to buy a plastic cup to drink my Startbucks. I would rather use the paper cups that even if you can't find a recycle company at least they will degrade in landfills and not poison the customer.

    January 3, 2013 at 7:07 am |
  17. John

    Or.... bring your own coffee mug...?

    January 3, 2013 at 7:01 am |
    • Thenextstep

      I think they can control the quantity being poured if they use they're own made one....... However, I'll bet a form of pouring a liquor shot couild be done on a coffe machine to pour only say 10 oz. or 12 oz. or whatever amount of coffee

      January 3, 2013 at 7:17 am |
  18. Thenextstep

    What the heck. This isn't new, nor is it rocket science. Its been done for years. Just not by Starbucks........ Okay, give them a Pat-on-the-back and get on with it....... Should be a good Beer cup for sure... :-)

    January 3, 2013 at 6:54 am |
  19. Les

    I'm not drinking a hot beverage from any plastic cup made in CHINA.

    January 3, 2013 at 6:45 am |
  20. Dawn Keibals

    I will buy one to put beer in. Carry it at sporting events,the park in the car....people would just assume there is coffee in it. GREAT IDEA!!!

    January 3, 2013 at 6:16 am |
    • Daniel

      I've been putting booze in mine for years now!!

      January 3, 2013 at 9:25 am |
  21. dawn

    Gas station coffee vendors have done this for years. Years ago I remember one where you bought their travel mug and you got refills at 55 cents for about six months. And they kept their coffee fresh and hot.

    January 3, 2013 at 6:03 am |
  22. Josh

    How about this, Starbucks, offer ten cents off of anyone who brings in their own mug, cup or thermos? Wouldn't that be the most environmentally friendly and generous option?

    January 3, 2013 at 6:01 am |
    • John

      Uh... you've obviously never brought in your own mug, because Starbucks doesn't offer ten cents off in you bring in your own mug, they offer something like 20% off if you bring in your own mug.
      And if your starbucks doesn't do that, You need to call Howard Schulz (Schultz?) and tell him that one of his stores is breaking his rules.

      January 3, 2013 at 6:53 am |
    • Ztom

      I have been bringing in my own cup for years.

      Starbucks has always given me 10 cents off because of it.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  23. Hari

    Everything is a marketing gimmick. Starbucks hardly cares about world or environment. By making plastic cups, they are creating more junk in households, and in trash cans. Money is what drives individuals, companies, government and world. These are just new ways to cheat each other, and keep us all excited. We stand in line to buy this new cup, show it off to friends by keeping it at our desk, kitchen counters and cars. Starbucks is assured of repeat customers, as they have a cup.

    January 3, 2013 at 5:28 am |
    • Suri

      Hold much jaundiced views, do you? :)

      January 3, 2013 at 5:46 am |
    • SteveDave

      But it keeps the herd happy. Look I am drinking my coffee from a cheap plastic cup, I'm "Saving the Planet".

      January 3, 2013 at 9:22 am |
  24. Hari

    good

    January 3, 2013 at 5:27 am |
  25. Roger

    I carry my "mug" around with me all the time. But it doesent hold much coffee.

    Roger.

    January 3, 2013 at 5:26 am |
    • LOLcat

      LOL :)

      January 3, 2013 at 5:47 am |
  26. Hari

    Everything is a marketing gimmick. Starbucks hardly cares about world or environment. Bymaking plastic cups, they are creating more junk in households, and in trash cans. Money is what drives individuals, companies, government and world. These are just new ways to cheap each other, and keep us all excited. We stand in line to buy this new cup, show it off to friends by keeping it at our desk,kitchen counters and cars. Starbucks is assured of repeat customers, as they have a cup.

    January 3, 2013 at 5:26 am |
  27. rolf

    I would be more impressed by Starbucks if they stopped using off-shore tax havens in order to avoid paying tax and recognise their moral obligations to support the countries in which they trade. All this is just window dressing. IMO they are morally bankrupt

    January 3, 2013 at 4:20 am |
  28. twotwotango

    ....or why doesn't Starbucks ALSO have recycling bins next to trash bins. They're a day late and a dollar short on being environmentally responsible.

    January 3, 2013 at 3:46 am |
    • Amy

      ? They do in every Starbucks I've been in.

      January 3, 2013 at 4:05 am |
      • Some One

        I think it depends on what country we are talking about. I have never seen a recycle bin at Starbucks, and I have been to many Starbucks, although never in North America. Maybe you, Amy, are talking about Starbucks in North America. (Just a guess. I assume there are many Americans in this column.)

        January 3, 2013 at 5:34 am |
      • AnotherAmy

        My local starbucks here in Cincinnati does not recycle which is unfortunate. Our city provided everyone with large green recycling bins. I had a plastic bottle I wanted to recycle and asked the barista where the recycling bin was. She told me just to throw it in the trash. I took it home and recycled it. I also take home the paper "java jackets" and recycle those if I use one. Last year I was so excited about starbucks having some mugs made by a company in Ohio. What a crock that was!! They made X amount of mugs and certain local SB's carried them. Starbucks' faux concern is disheartening.

        January 3, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • AlexanderAF

      Unfortunately many customers are just too lazy to sort them out. Starbucks and Chipotle have both experimented with using recycling bins in their stores, and too many times customers will throw perishables in the recycling. If one person throws fluids into recycling that contains paper, nearly all of the paper in the bin can no longer be recycled. Also, paper cups with fluid in them cannot be accepted at most recycling centers. There are many challenges to recycling, but educating consumers is probably a start.

      January 3, 2013 at 4:16 am |
    • Candice

      Some Starbucks stores have recycling bins but most of the ones I have been in do not. I do not know why it is not more widespread. it takes a very, very short amount of time to separate one's trash from one's recyclables. I at least take my plastic cup lids and paper heat wraps and save them for a recycling bin if the store doesn't have one.

      January 3, 2013 at 4:36 am |
    • Ellen

      I have never seen a recycling bin in Starbucks, either. I live in New England and have been to Starbucks in many different states. I, too, carry my own cup. I recycle almost everything that I use and even bring things home to recycle if I can't do it at the place of business. I think that Starbucks is again trying to make itself look good to consumers, but have consistently stayed far from the line of change.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  29. mary beth

    Thanks, Starbucks, for the effort and setting a good example for trying. I'm amazed you're going to China for the cups, and ten cents is almost insulting. I'll try it, but I'd appreciate an upgrade on cups and rewards.

    January 3, 2013 at 3:46 am |
    • Ztom

      If you are concerned about the China aspect, either buy one of their other mugs (higher price) or bring one of your own from home. Both ways you will get 10 cents off. I've done it for years. And all their higher price mugs are Made in USA, as far as I've seen.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  30. Informed Person

    The cup might help the environmental issues with regards to emissions, but it certainly will not when it comes to transmitting disease and other germs from customers, to staff back to other customers. I am pretty sure their new cup will be going Viral.

    January 3, 2013 at 3:36 am |
    • Dave

      Ummmmm "informed person".....I guess the money changing hands before was alright?

      January 3, 2013 at 4:06 am |
      • Informed Person

        You don't put money in your mouth or next to your nose.

        January 3, 2013 at 4:42 am |
        • John

          Maybe YOU don't...

          January 3, 2013 at 6:55 am |
        • Ztom

          I have one friend who used to put all his money up his nose.

          Maybe not literally, but basically, yes.

          January 3, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • maze

      not always worth it as there is still (more) waste after cleaning the cup at work with water, soap, paper towels, etc. unless you wait for the next dishwashisng schedule, so use your own cup, and starbucks should still give you the 10cents off . . .

      January 3, 2013 at 6:51 am |
      • wilson

        Did you read the article? They aren't using paper towels and soap! They are just rinsing the cups out with boiling water then reusing them.

        January 3, 2013 at 9:15 am |
  31. peter

    i feel like a few years ago, i read about (a japanese?) company that was making plates/cups and small bowls out of pressed oats. it was completely edible, and could hot a hot liquid in it for 4+ hours before it became soggy and fell apart. most of us finish our drinks by 4 hours, i'd pay a little more if i could throw my cup in a compost heap and let it become mulch in a few hours. or eat it. maybe i just imagined that i read that, and someone's going to turn it into a billion dollar idea lol

    January 3, 2013 at 3:32 am |
  32. Jack

    People in Europe drink coffee from coffee shop's ceramic cups. So no need for paper cups or plastic or anything else. By far America is the worst polluter in the world. Always been and always will be.

    January 3, 2013 at 3:28 am |
    • Adam

      Are you on crack? It's the exact same as in the u.s. Have it in the cafe, you can have a ceramic mug...take it to go and you get paper. Get off your horse Chachi.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:40 am |
      • Jack

        No I'm not on crack like you Chachi boy.

        January 3, 2013 at 4:37 am |
      • werd

        America itself is responsible for 58% of the paper cup use world wide. Fact. Umm I mean, Cracked!

        January 3, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  33. Dr. Zen

    You all realize you can have far superior coffee without the environmental waste, without the wait, and without the hit to your pocket book?

    Ummm, try making it at home when you wake up! A tenth the price, no driving or waiting in line... Just invest in a quality espresso maker and splurge on excellent coffee. Let the masses drink the dregs at Starbucks.

    But, oh noes! that would require 30 seconds of work to load the espresso! And how would anyone see me with my logo'd cup?

    January 3, 2013 at 3:17 am |
    • Greg

      Yeah...it's so convenient to drag a coffee machine around town. "Why eat out at a restaurant? Just cook your food at home! I feel so superior!"

      January 3, 2013 at 3:42 am |
      • Dr. Zen

        Why would you drag a coffee machine around town? Most people only have a cup or two shortly after the wake up.

        If you need your fix throughout the day and into the evening, you might just be addicted and should work on that.

        And thanks, we had awesome Halibut fillet in lemon butter sauce with our homemade Pinot Gris for dinner tonight.

        But yeah, I guess investing effort into developing skills in things you enjoy for their own sake is much more elitist than paying 4 times so that you can conspicuously consume them in front of others.

        January 3, 2013 at 4:05 am |
    • Chris

      An actual quality espresso machine costs at least $1000 dollars.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:44 am |
      • Dr. Zen

        True, an excellent espresso machine does cost a lot. But, an espresso machine that makes a better cup of coffee than you'd ever get at Starbucks costs about $150.

        January 3, 2013 at 3:51 am |
        • Dave

          In a word..."no".

          January 3, 2013 at 4:07 am |
    • Robear in Ojai

      I make my morning cup of caffe latte every morning at home. I've owned a number of obscenely expensive espresso machine over the years (they tend to malfunction after a while and require hundreds $$$ in repair). Now I use an excellent Krups model I bought for $15 at the thrift store!

      I'll go to Starbucks when there's no alternative, but they'll never match the cuppa I make at home, not even close!

      January 3, 2013 at 4:20 am |
    • Maynard

      Yeah, Dr. Zen. And another thing people, quit buying those damn Keurig (or similar) coffee makers. It is far more expensive to use than buying coffee in a bag or can.

      January 3, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • Charlotte

      Drag a coffeemaker all over town? What kind of brainfart are these people having? Yes, I agree. Much cheaper to make it yourself at home. You don't need to invest in an espresso machine – a stovetop mokka pot makes great espresso and it runs about $30 to $50 depending on how many tasse you want. And you don't have to buy premium coffee if you roast your own at home. I've been roasting my own beans since about1989 and they cost me between $4 and $6 a pound. Given that a latte will cost you around $4 or so, that's a huge savings and it's much fresher than anything you can buy at a coffee shop, unless they roast their own beans a few times a week (most don't / cannot). As for dragging the items all over town, no, that's not necessary. I drink two large, strong cups of coffee in the morning before I leave the house. I don't drink coffee throughout the day so why lug around a bunch of coffeemaking stuff? It doesn't make sense.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  34. Hans

    They should use paper cups made from north american trees! Is better than transporting chinese plastic around the world!

    January 3, 2013 at 3:12 am |
    • Emily

      ? You do understand that most new paper is made from pulp harvested in China right? You don't just use any tree to make paper. Besides, the paper cups at Starbucks are, in most places, made from recycled paper (which is often worse for the environment than new).

      January 3, 2013 at 3:45 am |
      • Hans

        Thank you for the explanation. But a look at wiki tells me that Pulp is:
        cellulose fibres from wood, fibre crops or waste paper.
        So we are back again. It is still mostly wood !

        January 3, 2013 at 4:40 am |
  35. Dave

    A dollar to save a dime? Brilliant. Good luck with that.

    January 3, 2013 at 3:03 am |
    • Aalok

      It is a dime each time you idiot... Frequent Starbucks customers can easily recoup the initial investment (10 visits) and it helps reduce waste.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:07 am |
  36. Izoto

    Lame.

    January 3, 2013 at 2:44 am |
    • Really

      These people are trying to help you by extending your "LAME" existence. GTF on board already and contribute positive and constructive comments. Whether they do it for profit or not is a moot point, because many businesses bulldoze ahead and make their profits regardless of how it will effect the Earth.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:01 am |
      • Melissa

        You must be fun to live with.

        January 3, 2013 at 3:46 am |
      • SteveDave

        Oh geez, you've bought into this hook, line and sinker. Try thinking for yourself for once.

        January 3, 2013 at 9:26 am |
      • Charlotte

        @Really – you're right of course, and those who enjoy polluting and wasting will never be won over to the idea of not doing so, even if it could benefit them a little bit financially. Lazy.

        January 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
  37. teri

    they are made in China start using items made in the USA and I will start supporting your efforts we have 1000's of people out of work yet your are putting more people in chine to work than over here that is nuts. I love Starbucks but will not drink out plastic cups made in chine when we have plastic cups bring made in the good ol USA. Every one needs to start supporting and buying only goods made In America not Japan, korea or China. But our AmericNS AND VETS BACK TO WORK !!!

    January 3, 2013 at 2:43 am |
    • JK

      Can you be more inherently prejudiced? Why only ban Korean, Japanese and Chinese products? Are there not millions of products made from other countries floating around on the American market? Do you know how many things you use on a daily basis that are made in China (including the computer you are using)? Yes, many Chinese products are notoriously bad but there's really no need for you to discriminate against ALL Asian products. Not everything made in these countries are sh*t. Do you realize how many American companies employ Americans people to sell these Chinese products? If you do not want anything made in China, then do not go to Wal-Mart, Target, Macy's, etc. or use online retailers like Amazon or Overstock. Ban all products Nike, Juicy Couture, Dell, Nokia. Hell, even European designers have things made in China.

      FYI, Chinese labor costs are going up and companies are outsourcing to other countries. Don't be surprised when you see many products from Bangladesh, Turkey or Morocco. Oh wait, but you will buy them right because they're not Asian? Or not, because they're "terrorists?"

      Additionally, if you learned how to spell, then maybe more American companies would employ people like you. You are a horrible, intolerant "AmericN." You should really learn Mandarin because you, your children or grandchildren will need it one day, I promise you.

      January 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  38. mark

    I always reuse my paper cup from Starbucks at least 3 or 4 times. I works just fine if after using you remove the lid and let the cup dry so seams don't become soggy. It really isn't a big deal and it cuts down on waste and in my opinion is way better than a plastic cup.

    January 3, 2013 at 2:31 am |
  39. Jim K

    This is stupid!

    January 3, 2013 at 2:29 am |
  40. fran drake

    First, I do not want to buy anything from China. Second, as a nurse of 30 years, this is an infection spreading nightmare. I know they are going to pour boiling water into the cup, but just touching the cup of a variety of people who have been touching who knows what will contaminate other people's cups, then an outbreak...flu, colds, etc.

    January 3, 2013 at 2:23 am |
    • Javier

      You don't want to buy anything from China? Why? It's the companies using shoddy factories that are responsible for any standards they have to adhere to. I take it your computer was organically grown in a community garden? Also, if you are so worried about viruses and you are a supernurse...then make sure you don't touch the door handle, stir sticks, table, chair, money etc. Unless they are shoving their hands inside the cup, I don't think you have much to worry about.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:51 am |
  41. Two Eight

    If it's the Starbucks in the U.S. we're talking about, then as long as it's made from kevlar, it may stand a chance of saving a few lives...but I seriously doubt the planet will benefit from this corporately created "money makin' ideaaar".

    January 3, 2013 at 2:19 am |
  42. John W

    to save 10 cents?!?!? I'm thinking the egos at Starbucks executive offices are a bit out of whack. It's a PITA to remember the cup all the time much less to clean it out to for it's reuse. Many convienient stores and donut shops offer similar deals with with a greater return savings (25, 40, 50 cents.) Nice that Starbucks is finally thinking 'green' but they are waaay missing the mark.

    January 3, 2013 at 2:16 am |
  43. june

    Since nobody will remember to bring a flimsy plastic cup back, net effect will be more non-degradable petroleum based waste and bigger profit margins for starbucks. Well, at least the pretentious yuppies will slowly be poisoning themselves from leeching plastic while being parted with their money a bit faster.

    January 3, 2013 at 2:12 am |
  44. Jim

    I never return recyclables because the time is not worth it. Yes I recycle as much as anyone but I give the bottles and cans away. I reuse my travel mug,or at least I make an effort. The 10 cent savings is not enough in this hectic world to make me stand there and wait even longer.....sorry but it's true

    January 3, 2013 at 2:02 am |
    • Amy

      Agreed. It's more about company image than them thinking people will actually do this on a large scale.
      If being "environmentally friendly" isn't reasonably convenient then people aren't going to do it in large numbers.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:54 am |
  45. Việt Nam Quê Hương Tôi

    I do not want to use made in China cups.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:56 am |
    • no plastic no oxalates

      me either

      January 3, 2013 at 2:05 am |
    • Bander

      Me neither. No thanks to Chinese cups.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:32 am |
    • Jim

      Why? It's Starbucks' responsibility to make sure they meet safety standards. Where they are made has nothing to do with it unless you are thinking of the economics of having the jobs localised.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:56 am |
  46. no plastic no oxalates

    we are trying to get the estrogens/xenoestrogens out of our food/water supply so it seems like a terrible idea. i could see selling mason jars or something if you want to buy a cup, even for leftovers at other places, but not plastic. i actively avoid plastics. petrochemicals in my food supply. same with oxalates (coffee/tea/spinach/etc). starbucks just loses out on all sides for me. never liked their coffee, tea, or snacks (too much sugar). they seem to have a nice ceo, but like a lot of men...not well informed about health. mostly contributing to making us sick. estrogens (xenoestrogens) feed cancer tumors. oxalates deplete calcium. looks like a cancer trap to me. like they work at it.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:56 am |
    • no plastic no oxalates

      actually i wouldn't go to mason jars either because that white stuff (approved by FDA <--not trustworthy) under the lid is BPA. WECK makes something better. unless there's something about rubber that isn't healthy for us. most petrochemicals aren't that great for us. its just that it barely touches the surface in those (unless its so bad that even that's too much), but its not sprayed under the lid like mason jars. i would lose the plastics altogether, and search for low oxalate coffees/teas (camomile) and healthier snacks (not grain so much, and definitely not corn or corn derivatives). maybe a nice peach or cherry snack (leave out the high fructose corn syup, maltodextrin, citric acid, anything that comes from corn or corn derivatives in it, and if it is in there, label it). i would use very little to no grains (they raise blood pressure). no soy either.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:05 am |
      • no plastic no oxalates

        maybe you could move to more green smoothies with low oxalate food in glass or paper if its not sprayed with petrochemicals, or paraffin wax (also known to be a problem).

        January 3, 2013 at 2:08 am |
        • no plastic no oxalates

          small, medium, and large are adequate designations also. for the most part, you have a terrible product line. white chocolate might be better than brown chocolates for oxalates. and nobody needs high fructose corn syrup. change the whole product line to something smarter.

          January 3, 2013 at 2:11 am |
    • no plastic no oxalates

      you need strong bones to keep cancer from getting into your bones. not depleting calcium with high oxalate foods. sorry starbucks, but you're going backwards. do you hate us? why?

      January 3, 2013 at 2:15 am |
    • George

      You realize that the current paper cups are actually coated with a thin layer of plastic, right?

      January 3, 2013 at 2:40 am |
    • Jim

      Jeezus.....I feel sorry for your home-schooled, organically vegan-fed children. "We were better off living as cavemen!"....oops...shouldn't say "cavemen"...cave-people sorry. I'm sorry, I'm just a man and I'm "not well-informed about health".

      January 3, 2013 at 4:00 am |
  47. Liz

    This is a fantastic idea, but also not generously rewarded. Although the price of the cup is modest (if anyone remembers to wash it, dry it and remember to put it in their car everytime they crave Starbucks), the 10 cent discount is rather insulting to consumers. What is my motivation, other than environmentally? If someone spends roughly $5 a day on Starbucks (ridiculous if you do, but that's the reality for some), 5 days a week... this would only save you 50 cents a week. That adds up to a measly $26 a year. I mean, if I buy a bag of Starbucks coffee, I can bring the bag in and get a free small drink. THATS more of a discount. Come on, you guys have more flexibility to motivate than that!

    January 3, 2013 at 1:40 am |
    • Kelly

      I agree. A measly .10 is nothing compared to the price of a cup of coffee there! Get serious!! I don't want to have to reuse a flimsy dirty cup. And it's frustrating to buy their mugs for hot drinks because you can never microwave them to heat them up and I have not seen a venti size for hot drinks. You'd have to do more to motivate me to reuse.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  48. George

    Could CNN pull a photo from Getty Images that didn't have power lines cutting right through the Starbucks logo?

    January 3, 2013 at 1:32 am |
  49. krozar

    How nice, another way for university students of well-off families, the epitome of our disposable culture, to feel good about themselves. Make sure it's organic soy milk so no animals are harmed. I'm going to go have a fukken cigarette.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:29 am |
    • Frank

      Huh? "University students of well-off families"? So the university students from families who aren't well-off are alright? Not sure what your point was.

      January 3, 2013 at 4:04 am |
      • Gary

        I think his point is that he smokes...at least that's all I got out of it.

        January 3, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
  50. jeremy

    great idea if it makes it out of my car.or kitchen sink

    January 3, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • DaveD

      That is Starbucks plan....By people own admittance in the poll, they will forget and buy a new one.....Profiting on the idea of being green....Well played Starbucks, well played...

      January 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
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