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. Robert

    if the cups were made in the USA!

    January 3, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Ztom

      I don't have the specific one they are talking about in the article, but I have a different one I bought at Starbucks. It says Made in USA on the bottom.

      They also have options for donating money to go to local businesses for small loans. I know Starbucks sometimes is viewed as elitist, but they continue to impress me with their commitment to my community.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Good Grief!!!

      Paper is a renewable resource. The pulp comes from managed forests. This industry supplies many thousands of jobs in the U.S. The paper industry in the us needs this business. Why in the world would you pay a dollar for a cancer risk piece of Chinese plastic. This concept is nuts. Ther are now more trees in these managed pulp wood forests than when they were first harvested. Paper is biodegradable!!!

      January 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  2. Marie

    I can't remember to bring my reusable bags for groceries yet, doubt I'll remember to bring my reusable cup.
    Drinking coffee out of a plastic cup, not my preferred method.
    Cups made in China!! Starbucks you should be ashamed after your promotion of the "American-made Indivisible wristbands" http://www.starbucks.com/blog/help-u-s-jobs-get-an-indivisible-wristband, this is a disgrace!

    January 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • hal

      Which China are you hating on? The "communist" one, or the "capitalist" one. There is a difference.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  3. NateH

    Has anyone pointed out that China is wicked dumb yet? Cause seriously guys, China's the worst

    January 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • URDUMB

      Obviously China is not that dumb, dumb ass.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • hal

      Nate why do you hate Taiwan so much? LOL

      January 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • HoJanFat

      If China is so dumb, why are we up to our necks in debt to them?

      January 3, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  4. Observer

    If you want to cut back on waste, why not start with NOT paying four bucks for a cup of coffee. Just sayin'...

    January 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • GaryB

      You can get a regular coffee at Starbuck for $1.50, and my local Starbuck will knock 25 cents off that if you supply your own cup. Einstein Brothers, however, still has the better deal. If you use one of their cups, they only charge you $1.10 for a refill, and you can fill your cup up as many times as you want during a single visit.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  5. fluidfilm

    It's so obvious: combine the card and the cup. RFID in the reusable tumbler. You can pay with it, you won't forget it, you can set a default beverage in your account to speed your order, Starbucks can track usage.

    January 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • anon

      This is actually a really really good idea.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
  6. Gary

    I've been using the same coffee tumbler that I bought in Iceland 14 years ago. It has been with me to Germany, Italy, Korea, Qatar and all over the US.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  7. catchsus

    I would not be inclined to drink hot beverages out of a plastic cup. Turn off.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
  8. Junior Rugby

    I would purchase one (or two) not to save the ten cents, rather to help reduce waste. I think this is a nice effort my Starbuck's, however, has anyone totaled up the amount of waste a company such as Dell generates? I would like to see the ability to purchase a new motherboard, CPU, etc while utliizing the same plastic case as before.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Dennis

      You stated "I would like to see the ability to purchase a new motherboard, CPU, etc while utliizing the same plastic case as before." I agree with you on gettihg a new motherboard, CPU and put into the old case. But most cases are made out of metal. They might have plastic covers on the front only. At least the ones I have seen & used. Some motherboards are not interchangeable to cases eather. Good idea to recycle motherboards.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  9. John

    It sounds like Starbucks is making an affort but you people just find reason to attack them for it. We control what happens in retail when it comes down to it. And Of course they are made in China because who else will make them? And really, if plastic or paper don't work for you, take your own mug! You have that choice! Starbucks made a goal to improve this and becasue of its customers they had to revise it. Be the change you want to see America.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Deb

      Totally agree!

      January 3, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Niall

      Please support your local "Mom and Pop" coffee shop and actually stop, sit down, and enjoy a far superior cup while drinking it out of a proper ceramic cup (gasp....). I have no time for the "generic coffee for the masses" poured by a multi-national company using a "green" marketing campaign to drum up more business. People need to literally wake up and smell the coffee.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
      • HoJanFat

        No thanks.

        January 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
  10. raforrester

    I wonder how their customers would react if the customer could write their own name on it and fill out all those checkboxes before they handed it to the barrista. That could save everyone time and avoid mistakes. That alone might be a reason to use these cups. Customers might even buy a different cup and mark the checkboxes for each of their favorite beverages.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Matt

      What the H- is a barista? I ordered a coffee one time from Starbucks when I went with friends to study for exams. I am not a cheap guy, but 8$ for fluffed up cup of junk seems stupid. SHeep........ Id rather get a sand which. As far as the enviroment goes....DONT GO THERE! Solved

      January 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
      • raforrester

        A barista is what Starbucks calls its workers.

        I've never had an $8 cup of anything from Starbucks. You're supposed to look at the prices BEFORE you buy.

        As far as the environment goes, when I go to Starbucks, I bring my own metal travel mug.

        January 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  11. Jimbo

    Starbucks should start buying their products from the US! With the exception of their coffee, everything from Starbucks is made in China? Hypocrites! They have no issues in supporting the Chinese economy?

    January 3, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Deb

      Jimbo, very good point. As long as they are going this far, couldn't they have found cups made in the USA? Bringing your own ceramic mug is even better.....

      January 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • larry

      Hawaii and Puerto Rico both have great coffee, there both part of the USA.

      January 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
      • ser

        you used the wrong form of there in your sentece....use whatever cup you want...wake up people...

        January 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Ztom

      I'm sipping Starbucks coffee from my Starbucks mug right now. Not the one in this article, but I bought it from Starbucks a month ago, and use it always.

      On the bottom it says "Made in USA". So I guess not everything there is made in China.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
  12. American

    Nice move Starbuck's! First thing I noticed was the cups are made in China and secondly a 10 cent discount, seriously? No thanks. I will keep reusing my paper or Styrofoam cup that I use every time I go to Starbucks

    January 3, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Ztom

      Even if you reuse your paper or styrofoam cups, Starbucks gives you a 10 cent discount. It's not limited to their cups. You can bring in any one you want.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  13. Sylvia

    No plastic for me. Like the paper cups. Better for the environment. Starbucks- how about more environmentally friendly K-Cups, not made out of plastic, i.e. like a tea bag.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Deb

      I wonder if they could have created an inexpensive ceramic mug for this same purpose....

      January 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • hal

      I hate to rain on your parade but I think that most paper cups actually have a very fine layer of plastic applied to the inside surface. Try getting a stainless steel mug, they are non-reatve to acidic liquids. Black coffee is slightly acidic, but adding milk turns the drink base.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  14. Kathi O.

    I recycle the paper cup I get from them currently. I'll recycle the new plastic cup they want to use, too.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Otis

      Kathi O. – It is good that you recycle but remember that Reduce and Reuse are the first two"R"s to use.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  15. 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 1:05 pm |
    • Ed

      They want you to drink from a cup made in China? As in unsafe: dry wall, toothpaste, toys, seafood, drinking water, factories,....uh, is someone here kidding?

      January 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • DaveD

        Stop asking questions Ed, feed the machine......FEED IT

        January 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
  16. TallyChick

    What would be nice is if I could bring my own reusable cup and be able to get a cheap refill at the Starbucks drive-thru. I may have to ask them if they allow that! The parking lot at my local Starbucks is a mess and I hate paying the high prices for new cups of coffee. Starbucks is usually a treat for me...not something I get on a regular basis.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • wafffles

      Not sure about yours, but most locations including the few I know around me take any reasonable cup. Just make sure it can withstand their disinfection method: a shower in boiling water.

      January 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Ztom

      You can bring your own cup. Any time Starbucks doesn't have to give you a new cup, you get 10 cents off. You can bring in a ceramic mug from home, a plastic cup from another store, or practically anything.

      Still get 10 cents off. I used to do it all the time.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  17. justpassinthru

    I won't ( and have not been for years ) back in a Starbucks till they lower their prices to fit the working persons wages and the current economic reality that we earn less $$ and spendable $$ now then 5 years ago – THIS OUTFIT IS FOR THE RICH AND WANNABE's I can get a 3lb can of the best dark roast Costco coffee for under $10, at a cup a brew and 6 to 7 cups a day I get about a month of really good coffee- why would I pay their premium wannabe prices? and who cares about saving 10 cents when the image they try to project is to the rich crowd that think they can afford a $4.50 drink?

    January 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Ted

      Perhaps you might like to consider decaf?

      January 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
      • Laughing

        That was funny!!!

        January 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
  18. r.c.jack

    It would only contribute to unending scar of plastic on the earth.

    January 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  19. vicki

    I would not use these cups because Starbucks has chosen to have them made in China.

    January 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Sam

      Then you should also not wear any of your clothes as they are all made in china too. and the computer that you are using to read and type this is also made in china btw!!

      January 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Erlo

      Well you better throw away all of your appliances, car, and clothes then. Also are you sitting down? Stand up. Yea ... that's made in China too.

      January 3, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
      • Deb

        One has to start somewhere....

        January 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Ted

      brace yourself - they have their beans made outside of the US as well!!!

      January 3, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  20. EpicEric

    As a Starbucks Manager here at my store, and all the stores in the city we recycle, coffee grinds, hard and soft plastics, card board, news paper, paper in general, recycle paper cups if customers choose to do so, cans and glass, have numerous for dining mugs and plates, donate our "expired" pastries to a boys and girls club, give many hours to community events. All the "partners" drinks are in glass ware (hot or cold), and food is served on a plate. While not all Starbucks systems are perfect, it's good to see that at least they are taking a step in the right direction with these $1 plastic cups for those customers that want them. Giving people options.

    January 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Bonnie Gramlich

      Good. Appreciate your comments and what you are doing.. do you happen to know if the new plastic cups are BPA free??

      January 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • spf35

      So all the other stores out there that offer re-usable plastic or metal mugs and cups isn't enough of an option.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
      • Ztom

        I have brought in reusable cups and mugs which were not Starbucks-purchased. Each time, I got 10 cents off my coffee.

        January 3, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • SeldomSeenMike

      So what! You also keep mom and pop companies from having a chance.

      Go back to Seattle.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
      • EpicEric

        It's not like Starbucks is the only big company out there. There is many difference BIG companies out there that make it difficult for smaller operations to do business. Although I can see it is easy to point the fingure at Starbucks to make it seem like they are evil. The last time I checked Apple, Microsoft, Google, Coke, McDonalds, Pepsi, ect weren't perfect either. If companies didn't try to do anything to make a difference (If it works or not), where would we be?

        January 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
  21. j money

    you guys are a bunch of babies stop complaining about some damn coffee and cups and bpa blah blah blah you brain washed zombies. people in china dont get cancer as much as americans and they drink out of plastic cups that THEY MAKE. so go complain about your fancy mcdonalds you racist idiots

    January 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Deb

      I'd be interested in the Cancer study you are referencing. Any links?

      January 3, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  22. SoArizona

    So now we are going to waste water, fuel to heat the water and barista's labor to the end of a plastic cup. Sounds much more wasteful than a cup. 10c savings... NOT worth the effort.

    January 3, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Craig

      It sounds like you didn't try to calculate the footprint of a factory creating the paper cups and cardboard sheaths. Compare that to your calculation of water/fuel/labor, and I think you'll be surprised.

      You're from Arizona so I expect you to have unprogressive thoughts, anyway.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
      • tcp

        Well, that was just a little bigoted and closed minded, don't you think Craig?...

        January 3, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  23. Don

    I usually have a thermo-cup with me, but to me, the cost of Starbucks coffee is out of my price range! Now if they'd drop the coffee cost to $1.00 a cup, then I'd consider buying some; but i doubt that'll ever happen.

    January 3, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Kaushik Das

      Absolutely agree to you Don – I dont see rationale of people paying upwards of $1.75 for a cup of coffee that costs less than 25 cents to produce. Of course the practice encourages employment, commercial space usage, utility usage, taxes, blah blah blah, but it also delivers millions of dollars to the CxO's and peanuts to the employees...

      January 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
      • tcp

        Buck seventy five? Where do you get your coffee? I'd bet most customers of Starbucks are spending three or more bucks for that morning joe...

        January 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • rlr

          Nope a large (venti) coffee – not a latte, but just plain roast is less than $2 at my Starbucks.

          January 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
        • Ztom

          In my town, unless you order a fancy drink, a plain old coffee costs between $1.75 and $2.06. If you want to save even more money, just buy your own coffee and brew at home. Starbucks has to pay for electricity, employee pay and benefits, advertising, etc. If that is too much for you, there are cheaper places, or you can go home-brew.

          Nobody forces people into a Starbucks. If it is too expensive, they will lose customers. They are successful doing what they are doing, so I believe they have found the right price for their target market.

          January 3, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
  24. kennyg

    I'll continue to visit my locally owned coffee shop, have a my drink in one of their ceramic mugs and connect with my community. Beats buying poorly roasted, mass produced beverages and supporting the Chinese by purchasing one of these cups.

    January 3, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
  25. N

    Why are the cups being made in China? Come on Starbucks, do something for the US economy, at least make the cups in America.

    January 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Ted

      then they'd have to charge $10 for one

      January 3, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  26. Nick

    Why not charge $10 for a ceramic cup and offer those who use it coffee at $1 a cup? For 10-cents, why bother?

    January 3, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • spf35

      So you are forced to buy between 14 and 20 cups of coffee just to get one free.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
      • LLL84

        No one is forcing anyone to buy anything. If you're a regular starbucks coffee drinker, the $10 ceramic cup and $1 coffee refills aren't a horrible idea. Not much different than buying a $10 ceramic cup and brewing you're own at home.

        January 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • paul

          $10? i have never purchased a coffe mug in my life and have more than I can fit in my cabinet from banks, car dealers, etc. use a free travel mug and brew $0.10 coffeww at home.

          January 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  27. spf35

    Hey Starbucks. Why are you trying to go into the cup selling business. Offer those that bring in there own mug 50 cents off or something and skip the whole plastic cup nonsense. I think enough other stores sell re-usable mugs.

    January 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • spf35

      I meant their.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Czerenity

      They already offer that.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
      • rlr

        they only offer ten cents off, not 50.

        January 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  28. Wren Sharpbeak

    It would take me a few tries of forgetting and buying a new one, but I would eventually get the hang of always having one with me (probably in my car). I went through the same process with reusable shopping bags and now, in addition to a bag full of bags that I take with me on grocery trips, I also have a bag that folds down into a tiny pouch that I stow in my purse. I am never caught without a bag for spur of the moment purchases.

    A collapsible cup with a lid would be a sure winner for something like this. I wish more stores would implement incentives for us to reuse instead of adding to the garbage heaps.

    January 3, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • tcp

      Why must everything be "incentivized" FOR you. Just do it your own self! Oh, but then you wouldn't be able to publicize how good you feel about yourself, would you?

      January 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
  29. michael

    If people want to save the planet, they should quit being lazy. I pretty much try to stay away from anything disposable as much as possible. Just wake up 15 mins earlier so you can go sit down at Starbucks in the morning and have your coffee in a mug. As far as things that are "disposable," many are great for re-use. Take a plastic cream cheese tupper for instance. I keep them and put them to use for the rest of its useful life as tupperwear. I keep every plastic bag and try to get multiple used out of them. If people just used each plastic bag three times, it would make a big difference.

    January 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • spf35

      Many of us already do use non-disposable. i think that is why this whole starbucks thing is strange. What incentive do they offer for using a non-disposable cup? 10 cents off. Why not offer 50 cents off and skip the whole plastic cup selling nonsense. Enough other stores sell re-usable cups and mugs .

      January 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
      • Ztom

        If it gets more people to do it, because of the marketing, I don't think it is bad. Yes, you can use your own existing cup. But there are probably a number of people who don't. And if you can get some of them to do it by having this promotion, well, I again don't see it as a bad thing.

        January 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  30. Not Me

    Until the cup is ensured to be BPA free and is also MADE IN THE USA, I will take a pass on this one. As a former coffee shop owner who used biodegradable plastic and paper products, I found good response to those...but plastic and hot coffee do not mix.

    January 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Les

      I agree with you about BPAs. Another poster says that the cups say they are BPA free... However, I have experience as an engineer with Chinese manufactured plastics. They are unreliable. They will change materials to save money without telling you, calling the new materials "equivalent". "Equivalent" to their standards, not yours. Sorry, no trust here.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
  31. Eric

    I can taste the plastic in the BPA cups, surely full of cancer-causing chemicals. Nice move starbuck!

    January 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
  32. Carla

    You'd have to do it like the old deposit on soda bottles. Bring the cup back and get a new cup. Don't bring the cup back you get charged a surcharge. The old cup gets washed or recycled.

    January 3, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Not Me

      Plastic does not lend itself to deposit style handling since it cannot be made 100% sterile after use #1.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
      • Fred

        Have you ever been to an average restaurant? good chance they have plastic cups. Which get washed, and re-used.

        January 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
        • tcp

          You must spend a LOT of time at buffets...

          January 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  33. spf35

    Lets think about Charbucks for a moment. Think about this: You go into a Starbucks, order coffee. It's served in a cardboard cup, then carry it to the place you put the milk and sugar in, then carry it to where you intend to sit. After drinking the bitter concoction, you than carry it to the waste basket where you dispose of it. The tipping container is at the cash register. So what I have to look forward to, and after paying hefty prices for this burnt beverage, I am supposed to tip them. Now, for the savings of ten cents, you have the honor of washing your own cup. With luck Charbucks will put a sink with soap next to the garbage so you can wash your cup on the way out. But hey, you saved ten cents. And if your getting it to go, have fun carrying around a plastic cup everywhere you go. Maybe they can sell little canvas sacks to carry your dirty cup around in.

    January 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Eric

      Our Starbucks have no tip jar here in Hawaii

      January 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • akismet-9600b6eae079ff4c31a9ce3e4534d0b8

      Yeah, we get it. You don't like Starbucks. Some of us prefer it to Bumkin Donuts, though.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
      • Not Me

        Move the D in Dunkin and you get UNKIND DONUTS.

        January 3, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Some One

      You are not "supposed to" tip anyone anywhere ever. The whole idea with tipping is to reward extraordinary behavior, not to tip everyone and their uncle in the service industry. Besides, tipping is a pretty sad habit that not only keeps the salaries in the industry lower than they would otherwise be, but also in practice constitutes tax evasion. What is it with Americans and their urge to tip? Having too much money in your wallet? Every good and service has a price. If you want to pay more, suit yourself... Now please send tip for having read this to account number 1234567...

      January 7, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
  34. Richard

    It is nice to see that they are trying! I wonder what they are going to do about drive through? that will slow things down if they want us to use our recyclable cups...

    January 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
  35. Billy Poole

    I don't like Starbucks, they are gay, the people who work there are gay and there coffee is Gay. Dunkin Donuts is the best!!

    January 3, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Not Me

      Billy...were you abused by your uncle?

      January 3, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Susie

      You are pathetic. You should take your lousy attitude and go live in a cave. Wait...you already do.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
  36. Eric

    It's about time.... They are the biggest wasters ever with two cups AND a heat-sheath sold with every cup of coffee.

    January 3, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Eric

      P.S. Starbucks doesn't even really qualify to be a coffee shop....for seven dollars here in Hawaii, I expect more than one kind of coffee too, not just regular or decaf.... even 7-11 has more choices, and for alot less.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
      • Ztom

        Wow. Glad I don't live in Hawaii. My Starbucks uses 1 cup, and makes the sheaths available, but you can decide to put them on or not. And my Starbucks always has 4 kinds of coffee that they rotate, 1 being decaf. Unless you order a fancy drink, you will pay max $2 at my Starbucks. And even the most expensive drink I have ever ordered was about $6.50, but of course you could pay more if you add extra shots or whatever.

        January 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  37. revrok

    Is anyone else as disappointed as me that these are made in China? I thought Starbucks was a promoter of strengthening the U.S. economy?

    January 3, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Eric

      The location they rape the environment shouldn't matter

      January 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  38. my thoughts

    Friends don't let friends drink starbucks!!

    January 3, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  39. Well now

    Lets compare the footprint of all those cups to the foot print produced by one of these 'cup summits'.

    January 3, 2013 at 11:51 am |
  40. ab

    I like the concept up until I read that it is plastic. I try to limit the amount of plastic I can potentially consume (however little it might really be) because of concerns of BPA. Also, rinsing with just hot water isn't quite the same as washing it in a dishwasher.

    January 3, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • rivensky

      The cups are BPA free and they are recyclable and dishwasher safe. I've had mine for a couple months now and I love it.

      January 3, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Rick

      You could just wash it at a dishwasher at home...

      January 3, 2013 at 11:51 am |
  41. a maass

    I always order my double espresso in a ceramic cup.
    And they always honor my request. Thanks again Starbucks.

    January 3, 2013 at 11:35 am |
  42. werd

    The paper cups are sprayed with PE to keep them from absorbing the coffee. This makes it very hard to recycle in the first place. Even if you put them in your cities recycle box, they will end up in a land fill. 90% of the time. Where they again do not break down because of the coating added. Each cup made, accompanied by its paper sleeve, causes the release of 1/4 pound of CO2, takes about 1/4 cup of clean water, and causes about .93 square feet of habitat loss from the trees it takes to make them.
    ::wiki "paper cup"

    They need to start using thin fully recyclable plastic cups and lids, made from 90%+ recycled content. They also need to charge for every cup so you are aware when you look at your receipt that you should have brought your own re-usable cup.
    If they really want to take it a step further, they can use plastic made from organics, that if aren't recycled as intended wouldn't have as bad of an impact on the environment from within the landfills.

    January 3, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • AF66

      Charge for every cup? Are you serious? They are already being called Bigbucks Coffee and now you think they should charge for every cup??

      January 3, 2013 at 11:31 am |
      • chaseu

        They absolutely should charge for every cup, as well as super markets charging for every bag. This creates an incentive to bring reusable cups/bags or pay a penalty!

        January 3, 2013 at 11:40 am |
      • werd

        Yes I'm serious. No one said they can't lower the price of the coffee by 10 cents, then add the 10 cents back when you use one. That's pretty much what they're offering now, except they don't show you the break down on your receipt so you think about it.

        January 3, 2013 at 11:40 am |
      • paul

        they already charge for every cup, all he is really asking for is itemization on the receipt.

        January 3, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
      • James

        It appears you don't go to Starbucks and if you do you are misinformed on the cost of Starbucks coffee. A cup of coffee from Starbucks is within 20 cents the cost of most popular coffee stores. Unless you are a frequent visitor of your local convenience/gasoline station to get your coffee.

        Yes a person can spend several dollars on a cup of specialty coffee, sometimes I could spend $5-6 for a specialty coffee at Starbucks. Then again a person can spend either $3 at McDonalds or they can spend $10 for a specialty meal.

        If you are going to try and bash on Starbucks coffee at least be accurate.

        January 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  43. Jenn Coolidge

    Why are we using oil to make plastics when we can use PLANTS (renewable) and degradable? The technology is here, we need to force Starbucks, Coke, Proctor & Gamble to USE it. http://www.wimp.com/plantplastic/

    January 3, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • werd

      Here, here!!

      January 3, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Richard

      I like plant plastic because it doesn't use oil, but they have their downsides too... Those plant plastic cups usually end up in the recycling bin (which dilutes the recyclable stock) or in the regular trash. Most types of plant plastics require commercial composting machines to break down the material at high temperatures, even then they are still in the chemical form and may be harmful. Unfortunately there is no magic bullet so far, but hopefully these new Starbucks cups can be recycled at the end of their life.

      January 3, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • David Lehenky

      You're absolutely right! I was hiking with a buddy in Waterton Park (the Canadian park that adjoins Glacier Park at the border) last summer, and everyone was using plant-based plastic cups. I'm looking at these things and saying why aren't we doing this! Of course, conservation is still the most important aspect of all this, even with plant-based plastics. The bottom line is the health of the planet as a whole, not dollars. Life and love over money!

      January 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Les

      Plant based plastics, as well as plant based packing material (real popcorn) and pant based bio-fuels have their own issues. Using materials that can also be used as food raises an ethical question. Using a plant based disposable cup while others on the planet dont have enough to eat??? Also. it takes more energy to make plant based plastics. Where is this energy coming from?
      In the U.S., the primary company manufacturing bioplastics is NatureWorks, owned by Cargill. They can produce 300 million pounds a year of a plastic called PLA, or poly lactic acid, that is made from corn grown in Nebraska and Iowa. Starch from the corn is extracted and converted into dextrose (sugar) and then into lactic acid by fermentation. The lactic acid is further refined into pellets that can be made into different end-products. Other companies manufacturing plant based plastics include Dupont, BASF, Eastman, Proctor & Gamble, and Cereplast

      January 3, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  44. syona

    It's not healthy to drink hot drinks out of plastic (still worse: foam) cups.

    January 3, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • ingrid

      Yeah ur right about the plastic so bring ur own favorite coffee mug instead!..Or buy one that you love and keep it in ur car. They wash it out too!. This is a great idea!

      January 3, 2013 at 11:20 am |
      • SAM

        Someone else in a coffee shop "washing" my cup doesn't really sit well with me. Ick.

        January 3, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Vesta

      I just got one of the new Starbucks cups, and it says "BPA free" both on the lid and the bottom of the cup. Yay!

      January 3, 2013 at 11:22 am |
  45. Jim

    I only use my Justin Beiber mug.

    January 3, 2013 at 11:11 am |
  46. Dp

    what about serving the coffee in real mugs by default (to stay, obviously), and offering the paper/plastic ones only upon request, at a 10c extra cost, the extra cost would be waived if you have your own mug.

    January 3, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • cup of joe

      and the coffee tastes better in ceramic mugs too!

      default: ceramic, to stay, washed in the store (like it has been done for decades)
      to go: your own mug, no extra cost
      to go: disposable mug, 50c extra cost, money goes to recycle/environment effort

      January 3, 2013 at 11:14 am |
      • ingrid

        YES!!!

        January 3, 2013 at 11:21 am |
  47. MK

    A dime savings? Woohoo.. If I am spending $5 on coffee, do you think I care about a dime? I do care about the planet though and for that reason I will try to remember to bring my mug with me, but not a reusable plastic cup that probably leaks BPA into my coffee. No thank you.

    January 3, 2013 at 11:06 am |
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