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. PeteC

    Carting that cup around is a drag especially if I couldn't wash it immediately after use. If it's worth 10 cents less per coffee to sell me that cup, then why doesn't Starbucks just use them without charge except for takeaways?
    Cheers!

    January 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • greengeekgirl

      Thing is, Starbucks does–or DID–have for-here mugs and glasses available to customers. Many didn't want them, and volume is an issue–it's really difficult to keep enough glassware on hand at a Starbucks for all of the customers who come through. (Storage is pretty tight in the back in most stores.. we would have needed someone to be on dish patrol exclusively during huge parts of the day if we'd served everything in glassware.) I'm not saying it can't be done, but strategically, it gets hairy unless you are in a very low-volume store.

      I find that many customers, if given the choice, take the disposable, which is interesting. I guess in case they decide to leave before they finish their drinks?

      January 15, 2013 at 2:24 am |
  2. Gregory

    Here's a thought just buy your own coffee and Make it at home. It's cheaper tastes better then Starbucks in My opinion. I make my own every morning saving a bunch by not utilizing Starbucks. Plus saving enviorment by using real cups not plastic or non plastic ones. It gives me about 30mins of time to myself to enjoy a cup of joe and watch the news before i head into the office.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  3. Joe Emmet

    First of all, I'd forget the darn cup!

    MORE IMPORTANTLY - I don't like the idea of hot drinks in plastic containers. Too much exposure to carcinogens as it is.

    Sez me!

    January 5, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Joe Emmet

      Another thought - just recycle the paper cups!!!

      January 5, 2013 at 10:28 am |
      • Irony

        C'mon now. This is no place to bring sense into the conversation.

        January 7, 2013 at 7:16 am |
  4. centralnygal

    I might consider doing it once but I would hope the savings would be more than a freaking dime! I bought a "grande" once and was handed a Dixie cup basically. I have not purchased anything from you since. I don't care if your roasters smell good. I want a good price instead of what i feel is everything is overpriced!

    January 4, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • DennisH

      BLEAPING IDIOT! Recycling is about properly using and reusing our limited resources, not about saving you a dime or two per drink. OMG, some people cannot see beyond the narrow and shallow horizon of their nose....which is probably the reason why you don't care much for quality, fair traded coffee and tea.

      January 5, 2013 at 10:05 am |
  5. centralnygal

    I might consider it once but I would hope the savings would be more than a freaking dime! I bought a "grande" once and was handed a Dixie cup of coffee. I have not given you business since that day. I don't care if your roasters smell good- I think you're overpriced.

    January 4, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
  6. dalbert

    another bacteria transporter like bring your own canvas bag to the grocery store

    January 4, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
  7. Jeann

    Starbucks is to fine coffee what your McDonald's is to fine cuisine.

    It is so cute to watch Americans discuss food as though you know what you are talking about. If you can, try to go to Europe at some point to see true sophistinction and superiority in food and drink.

    January 4, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Jay

      Do you really think anyone considers Starbucks fine coffee? And while you're bragging about European cuisine, you should probably be aware that most larger metropolitan areas in the U.S. have a collection of international cuisines. Many of Europe's most talented chefs aren't in Europe at all, they're out in San Francisco, NY, or Chicago.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Beth

      Really!? I think you better redact that statement about food in the US. Not sure where you are from but there are quite a few of Michelin Stared resturants here is USA. So take your narrow mind shove it where the sun don't shine.

      January 4, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • loubuc

      Europe is largely irrelevant these days, and certainly not the first place to look for guidance on anything other than perhaps pomposity ...

      January 5, 2013 at 12:56 am |
      • Joe American

        Exactly! Europe? What a joke! Putin says "Stand on one leg!" or he'll cut off your gas. Spineless weasels. We might not save you in the next World War!

        January 5, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • Some One

      I suspect that you don't fully know what you are talking about. Fine cousine exists in the United States as well. Your comment about McDonald's says a lot. That's akin to an American talking about Fish N Chips in a discussion about European food. I am European.

      January 5, 2013 at 7:20 am |
    • Brenda

      good point Jean!

      January 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Rick

      Go to Europe where you too can eat horsemeat.

      January 6, 2013 at 1:03 am |
      • Some One

        You cannot get horsemeat in the U.S., or what?

        January 7, 2013 at 5:42 am |
    • Jeff

      Funny how nearly every European city I've been to has a Starbucks (And a McDonald's, for that matter), and they're generally far busier than the artisian coffee shops. Guess the Europeans really just enjoy the same low end food we do...

      January 6, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
  8. AleeD®

    How many convenience stores have already put into practice the selling, use and re-use of plastic / thermal cups to use for refills on sodas and coffee? The only difference I see is that Starbux's coffee is strong enough that it sterilizes your cup with each refill. Good stuff.

    January 4, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
  9. Some One

    You people talking about reusable cups not being sanitary, do you ask for plastic cups or glasses at restaurants and bars as well, rather than porcelain for coffee, real wine glasses for wine, and beer glasses for beer? No? Why then is it suddenly an issue at Starbucks? Do they have worse dishwashing machines, or what?

    January 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • MC

      Exactly. What a bunch of imbeciles. It makes me wonder what they're putting in their cups when they don't have coffee.

      January 4, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • se

      let's see
      1. it's hot, plastic breaks down easer under warmer conditions
      2. coffee is acidic, also could break down the plastic over time

      January 4, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • Aloisae

      I think the issue is actually that the user, not Starbucks, really washes the reusable cups. The Starbucks employees just rinse it out with hot water.. they don't actually wash it. This puts the real burden for cleanliness on the consumer.

      Not that I have a problem with this.. I've done so for over a decade now at least with the one I use at least sometimes when stopping at Starbucks (sometimes it is still sitting at home after being washed with me forgetting to bring it...). But our society has been moving away from expecting consumers to take any responsibility in their own well being or use basic common sense. And, to be fair, if there is an outbreak of some disease potentially traced to a Starbucks, it does make things a bit harder to pinpoint if it could possibly be due to something else a group of consumers previously used the cups for and then didn't adequately clean them before taking them to Starbucks.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
      • Paul

        Last I checked, BOILING WATER is hot enough to kill all germs and bacteria...

        January 5, 2013 at 1:12 am |
        • Nope

          Botulism spores aren't killed by boiling water. There are plenty of other examples.

          http://foodsafety.unl.edu/pathogens/botulinum.html

          January 5, 2013 at 3:15 am |
    • dalbert

      sorry but you people are to dense to see it

      January 4, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
      • Some One

        Too dense to see what?

        January 5, 2013 at 7:31 am |
  10. PaulD

    I live in Manhattan ... carrying a resuable cup for those using mass transportation is not a viable option. Great idea if you live nearby or drive.

    January 4, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • gail dee

      Drag a cup around to save a dime? For what their coffee costs? Don't even go there with me.

      January 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  11. Some One

    Buck you! Buck off! Buck that! Bucking among the stars, buck like a star, or maybe have buck so good it was a real starbuck! Go bigure...

    January 4, 2013 at 10:19 am |
  12. GO_GOP

    I am sick of liberals pushing this environmental nonsense down the throats of businesses thereby decreasing their profitability. It has been proved by studies by leading scientists in leading universities that this thing about environment a.k.a. Global Warming just does not exist. Yet, the liberal just doesn't seem to get it.

    January 4, 2013 at 5:25 am |
    • Real science

      Please provide a link to an academic reviewed paper that has evidence of anything you just claimed. I will check back in a week, chances are it won't be here because you made it up.

      January 4, 2013 at 9:40 am |
      • Delusional GOP

        That would be asking a lot... I'd settle for a grammatically correct statement.

        January 4, 2013 at 10:30 am |
      • MC

        Don't hold your breath. He's a flatulent imbecile.

        January 4, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Some One

      Silly you! You are making references to your political opponents in your own country. Meanwhile, the rest of the world, people and experts of every conceivable political color or religion acknowledges global warming. You don't even seem to understand what the issue is about. It is not about whether global warming exists or not, but to what degree it is caused by humans.

      January 4, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • SmarterThanYou

      What the hell does this have to do with making things more difficult on businesses? By buying the cup, and reusing it, it costs 10 cents less for a coffee. An entire pot of coffee costs Starbucks about 40 cents. The price of the up is all their discounting..

      January 4, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • MC

      Get psychiatric help, you sad little half-wit.

      January 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
  13. environmental starbucks fan

    People complain about Starbucks & excessive cup waste, but what about Dunkin Donuts? Starbucks provides cups that are paper, made of partially recycled materials and are fully degradable in a landfill.

    To the contrary, Dunkin Donuts uses styrofoam cups, which are non-biodegradable and lie in landfills for decades. If the cups are burned (to avoid the landfill) then the styrofoam release toxic chemicals known as CFC's, which causes holes in the ozone layer and breathing problems for those with lung issues.

    Also, I see many Starbucks customers using their own mugs (whether bought at Starbucks or elsewhere). I rarely see Dunkin Donuts customers (or other coffee shops) using their own reusable mugs. They choose the harmful styrofoam.

    Starbucks has done more to help with this problem than many other businesses and coffee shops. Kudos to Starbucks (and its environmentaly consciousl customers) for trying to make things better with less waste. All businesses need to follow this lead.

    January 4, 2013 at 5:08 am |
    • WendyC

      Two weekends ago I went through the drive-thru and asked if they could throw away a coffee cup I already had in the car. The cashier told me they were not allowed to accept items through the drive-thru due to local health department rules. Based on my experience I do not see them being able to refill a cup of coffee.

      January 4, 2013 at 7:27 am |
    • CJ in Cali

      Who cares? DD does not even have stores in California.

      January 4, 2013 at 11:37 am |
      • You Are the Weakest Link

        Wow. Myopic much?

        January 4, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • MC

      Uh actually, dim bulb, I've rarely heard anyone complaining. Nice of Starbucks to offer that option anyway. What Dunkin Donuts does or doesn't do is their issue.

      January 4, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
  14. CR

    A .10 savings is not worth it. You have to carry a cup around and go home and wash it for a .10 savings. Better to just get the card and save on coffee that way. Doubt it will work, but kudos for Starbucks for trying to solve an environmental problem. They are the biggest, because they aim to solve problems-take this one back to the drawing board though.

    January 4, 2013 at 12:18 am |
  15. Jack Smythe

    Oh wow. That $7 will now cost $6.90 if I remember to bring my reusable cup. That's what I call a "grande" saving.

    January 3, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • jim hathorne

      You sir, are a loser

      January 4, 2013 at 1:25 am |
  16. StraightBlue

    Starbucks should look at making the cup in the USA and have the consumer pay an extra $1 or $2 than have it made in China, I know I would be more inclined to purchase it, until then, I will just get the paper ones. I visit Starbucks about 3 times a month so I don't think the savings is worth it for a cup made in China.

    January 3, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Gary

      I know that Starbucks has a lot of critics but they do deserve some credit for at least trying to find a solution to this problem. As for the "made in China" cups I have to agree this may not bet the way to go. I recently bought a mug from Starbucks that was made in the USA. It cost me about $30 but they offered free refills for a month. After the month is up all refills thereafter are just $0.54. For someone who drinks coffee on a daily basis that is a good deal as well as being better for the environment. Ultimately, the main reason they exist is to profit from the sales of their product but many companies don't even pretend to care about the environment. Whether they are doing this because they actually care or as some elaborate marketing gimmick is not important to me as long as it bears good results.

      January 3, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • Jim

      The largest Starbucks I have visited was in China. It had four floors.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:58 am |
    • isad

      that was my first thought, China made, really?? is there a bias against having USA made products for a USA based business..? yes, it may cost more (maybe) but at least it's a guarentee against shoddy make and safe to use.

      January 4, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
  17. John J.

    I buy starbucks 2 or 3 tmes a year.

    January 3, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
  18. tdsd

    If not for made in China, you wouldn't get such good deals.

    January 3, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • John Y

      Get such good deals? Don't mind the lead paint or contaminated drywall? Child labor? People dying in mass in fires because there are no fire escapes? I'll pay a little more and support Americans, improve my country, improve my fellow citizens way of life, increase the base of taxpayers, reduce our debt and tell the rest of the world to fix their own issues. What an ungrateful bunch of wussies you are, especially you in Europe. Either appreciate that we saved your asses or learn to march germanstyle. Ungrateful bastards one and all!

      January 5, 2013 at 10:03 am |
  19. Tom Taylor

    Even if I didn't remember the full 10 times, a. isn't there an environmental payoff for a few times with less paper being used? b. I would use it at home also where presumably I can use the dishwasher if it's being washed in boiling water at the store. I really can't on the whole see a significant downside. For the most sceptical; time will tell and it appears to be a genuine attempt at moving forward environmentally!! We're all hopefully in this for the long run so kudos to progress. If we don't try, we're by default toast the way things stand right now.

    January 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
  20. mira_v

    I wouldn't ever drink coffee out of a plastic cup.

    January 3, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • cynicalla

      Exactly, a hot beverage in a plastic cup? How many toxins would that release in my body?

      January 5, 2013 at 12:34 am |
  21. K

    You can bring in any reusable container currently and get the discount, found this out bringing my thermos there one day. To those complaining about sanitation- deal with it, germs are everywhere.

    January 3, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
  22. CoolCup

    I love these new cups! I'm going to by hundreds.

    January 3, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
  23. Ztom

    So basically:

    If you don't like Made in China, use your own mug and still get 10 cents off. Or buy a different Starbucks mug that costs more than $1. All of them I have seen say Made in USA.

    If you don't like Plastic, use a ceramic one from home and still get 10 cents off. Or ask them for a "for here" cup. They have ceramic cups for use onsite. It's just that most don't ask for them.

    If you want to save even more money, brew coffee at home.

    If you are worried about sanitation of your cup, wash it yourself with your other dishes. Won't take any more incremental water.

    If you don't ever go to Starbucks, then this article is not for you.

    January 3, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  24. sperry23

    I never buy Starbucks so it's a moot point.

    January 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
  25. Jim

    I have several reusable cups, from Starbucks as well as from different coffee vendors. I actually use them for my own coffee from home rather than from the stores. It's cheaper. And the 10-cent discount really isn't much of an incentive. I remember many years ago when you could get your "refill" for just 50 cents. Now that was a discount that was worth it.

    January 3, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
  26. SeldomSeenMike

    GO BACK TO SEATTLE, STARBUCKS!

    January 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  27. T.L.Y.

    THAT IS SO GROSS. What if someone has a disease or a cold sore. Will the baristas wash their hands between cups? Unsanitary. Sometimes being clean IS wasteful. I don't want to get sick to save the environment. This is just SICK!!!!

    January 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Conrad Shull

      Don't make such a fuss, that barista spit in your new, clean, sanitary, disposable cup anyway.

      January 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Freddy Fedora

      TLY is a fine example of the "germ-a-phobes" that our ultra sanitary American culture has spawned. Good grief...let's process and sanitize everything down so there is no flavor to our food and just enjoy a nice heaping plate of tasteless mush. Try living in Asia where, god forbid, they sell unrefrigerated eggs! **gasp**

      January 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • aeges

      You trust tableware (beer mugs, drinking glass, plates, forks, etc) while dining at a restaurant but don't trust a coffee cup that's been washed at a Barista?

      January 3, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • allison

      only one comment about how unsanitary this is !! do people not realize that with the number of stores starbucks has in the world,( I do not think that this is an outlandish statement ), this could cause a potential mini pan-demic!! viruses that last on surfaces for 24-48 hours could be spread from person to person in seconds. those of you that are concerned about the health of your family and community, should contact starbucks and voice your objections. maybe they will reconsider this ridiculous, ill advised policy!! if the company won't listen, then maybe local health authorities will respond.

      January 4, 2013 at 9:14 am |
      • To chicken little

        Geez. Panic much?

        January 4, 2013 at 9:16 am |
      • MC

        Good god, another short-bus rider heard from.

        January 4, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • MC

      Seriously, half-wit, get help. Do you never eat in restaurants?

      I think we may have found the biggest imbecile on the Internet.

      January 4, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  28. Christina

    I take issue because it isn't sanitary. Someone bringsin their cup, the barista rinses it with the not-quite-boiling water and touches the cup with the spout. So now the germs are on the spout and the barista's hands.
    I like the idea of reusable cups, but unless it's the "for here" porceline cups that go through the dishwasher, I just don't think it's a sanitary idea.
    I would like a membership program where you buy a generic cup that you can turn in and that you can trade it for a clean one at your next visit. Much cleaner.

    January 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • SeldomSeenMike

      Yeah, it really isn't the most sanitary thing in the world, but at least coffee is hot enough to kill germs,

      January 3, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Ztom

      You can always ask them for a "for here" cup. They have ceramic mugs that they will give you. Not sure if you get the 10 cents off, but you can do that.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Jim

      Christina, I've never seen a barista handle a resuable cup or refill where their hands get anywhere near the lip of the cup. Not to mention, your idea of turning it in every time and getting a different one would not be cost-effective.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Kate

      I worked for starbucks during my student days; I can confirm that if a customer brought in a travel mug we were under strict rules to ask the customer to remove to lid so we never touched it since it wasn't sanitary, and the water we rinse them with was incredibly hot.

      People often brought in their own mugs so if you're only worried about the sanitations NOW...I have some bad news for you (PS: the 10 cents thing is total crap, I agree there, but I do know it used to be free refills on tea and coffee both iced and hot if you had a starbucks card...not great, but good for students who spend hours in starbucks studying!)

      January 3, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Sam

      Well, the employees touch the spout of the cup regardless of whether the cup is plastic or paper. They also usually wear gloves. (At least to the ones I go to.)

      January 3, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • SG

      Christina, here is an idea. Since you are such a germaphobe, why don't you just skip buying coffee at Starbuck and make your own at home. That way you for sure won't have anyone but yourself who handle your cup

      January 4, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • MC

      Have you ever been to a restaurant, dullard? Do you imagine the plates and glasses and silverware you get there are manufactured for you special?

      January 4, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  29. Linda-Lou

    With rinsing all the time, wouldn't that be a waste of water? Some people in the world would kill for fresh water and we're using it just to rinse? As for me, I don't buy Starbucks very often as it is too expensive and too bitter but I do occasionally. I think I would get the $1 cup then use it twice then realize it was a hassle to bring in a flimsy plastic cup (that probably can't go in the dishwasher) so I would either not bother going anymore or I would bring in my own cup.

    January 3, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Ztom

      You have options. First, you can wash your cup along with other dishes so there is no incremental water usage increase. Second, feel free to use your own ceramic cup or any other coffee mug from home. Starbucks gives the 10 cents off any time someone brings in their own cup.

      So this isn't new. They're just promoting it to see if they can get more people doing it.

      If you are uncomfortable with the made in china piece, like I said, use your own cup, or Starbucks sells many other ones (more than $1) which are made in USA.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
      • Caffienated

        Starbucks sells mugs that aren't made in China? Not that I have seen!

        January 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  30. Brad

    Like any other reusable product, I expect this cup to not last long enough to make it worth it, and this experiment will be over in less than 6 months.

    January 3, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  31. STARBUCK ROGERS

    DRINK COFFEE OUT OF PLASTIC ... PLEASE. I'M NOT THAT FAR OFF- IN THE FUTURE! HOT COFFEE IN PLASTIC, YECCCHHH!! TASTES HORRIBLE EVEN THE MONGOL REDS WON'T TOUCH IT ...

    January 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Some One

      The "mongol reds"? Who are the "mongol reds"? An Asian American football team? People from Mongolia? A native American tribe?

      January 5, 2013 at 7:36 am |
  32. Brian S

    Would not buy ,if made in China!

    January 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
  33. trendymale

    The majority of Starbucks coffee drinkers are A-HOLES,,,save a dime? the tip goes up

    January 3, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Darth Cheney

      The majority of everyone are a$$holes, so what's your point?

      January 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Some One

      Who the h-ll tips at Starbucks? Now go out and tip the cashier at Walmart next time! Silly people tipping... Giving tip is nothing but active support of tax evasion since tip is seldom declared as an income. Tipping causes the salaries in the service industry to be lower than they would otherwise be.

      January 5, 2013 at 7:42 am |
  34. Eric

    I don't drink star bucks coffee because it taste like burnt diarrhea.

    January 3, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • leon

      You've tasted burnt diarrhea? sounds gross!

      January 3, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
      • Darth Cheney

        It's underrated. The burning is what makes it.

        January 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  35. Fiona

    I see people bringing in reusable cups to my local coffee house (I do not patronise Starbucks because I think their coffee is terrible and their quality consistency worse), and I see the baristas filling them with brewed coffee without rinsing first, often touching the lip of the cup to the dispenser. Rinsing the cup in "boiling" water does not sanitize it, since the water in a coffee hose is short of boiling and a longer exposure to truly boiling water is necessary to kill bacteria and viruses. I tthink it's an unsanitary practice (not to mention the fact that the food preparer handles somethng that has been handled by the customer, and does not wash afterwards). I generally order coffee to consume on site, so I am served in washable crockery. If I get take away, i recycle the cup. I would never go for these reusable things, especially for a dime discount. How cheap!

    January 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Brian

      Good points Fiona. I never thought about the sanitary part of it, just the ecological issue! Thanks.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • nkl

      I agree with you. I love starbucks, but I think it's still nasty to do this. Really who is going to be doing this all the time. People would have bought a mug already. Plus of course they are made in China.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  36. garydrewlevine

    I am going to stick my head under the spigot and have them fill me up directly, thus saving both disposable and reusable resources.

    January 3, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Jes

      I was going to say the same thing :) My problem mostly is the cups are made of plastic, plastic is horrible for the environment, so if people throw them out eventually it'll do more harm then good, then using recycled cups. I think 100% recycled cups theat can keep being recylcled is a better idea or better yet let people use their own ceramic or aluminum conatiners.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
      • laila

        Not to mention plastic is also not something we should be drinking hot liquids from...too many bad chemicals.

        January 3, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  37. SN

    Charge a heavy price for the cup and discourage use of disposable cup. Hit them on the price if this is important to you. When ATMs came around people still went in to speak with Martha defeating the entire purpose of the ATM. When banks started charging extra for coming into the teller's window when the ATM is just outside, they started charging the customers a $ 1 charge, and then the customer accepted and went to the ATM outside and soon change happened.

    By avoiding this step change will not come easily as expected. They can be from MIT and a CEO, and change doesn't change it's ugly face just because someone is a CEO or is from MIT. Does it?

    January 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • dream

      They should not take away paper cups if they want to keep their doors open...Having a mug at all times is not a national priority, and removes the purpose of paying someone else to make your coffee for you. The dollar mug is pretty good, probably something I'd toss in my car to have at all times. It's like like it's liquid gold either, you have to really know how to order at Starbucks to get a decent cup of coffee. Instead of worrying about Starbucks, go support your local coffee shop, who probably makes a much better cup of java.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • SteveDave

      Or better yet, stop buying coffee at Starbucks.

      January 3, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

        Dave's not here

        January 16, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  38. Dave R.

    I credit Starbucks with trying a number things that are geared at improving the communities they are in. I'm not particularly a fan of their coffee (I roast my own, so I'm more than a little snobbish about coffee); but they have excellent customer service, offer healthcare benefits to all of their employees. The CEO has called out moron politicians, but not in a partisan way, which is refreshing. They've sold wristbands to try to help small businesses. Now they're attempting to reduce the amount of waste they create. Are they perfect? No. Far from it. But it's a company with some impact in the world and small moves by them can create big effects. It's also difficult for a big company like this to make a significant change overnight. So the cups appear to be a start. I hope they continue finding ways to cut waste, improve recycling, and continuing to seek ways to improve the communities they are in. I wish more companies their size and more CEOs like Schultz would do what they do.

    January 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • false

      "offer healthcare benefits to all of their employees"

      FALSE! Starbucks employees get healthcare benefits if they maintain a certain number of hours per week. Some managers actively seek to keep people under this limit to save money.

      January 3, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      Dave's not here

      January 16, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  39. SN

    When the product is ready, just pour your coffee into my cup and I am done. Let us do away with more cost of cup processing be it drink-in or drive through or take-out.

    January 3, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  40. Tom

    It is about saving the world and not saving america. It is mind boggling how all americans can be so narcissistic.

    January 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Saruman

      Saving the world by buying a cup. You idiots are so gullible.

      January 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
      • Darth Cheney

        Yes, Saruman. We would be wise to give up hope and join forces with Sauron. After all, what hope is there?

        January 3, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  41. Charlotte

    Some people will always object to doing anything 'green' no matter whether it could save them a little money. Just lazy, I suppose. These objections are like all the mean people who rag on vegetarians simply because they choose to eat differently – irrespective of whether their motivation for doing so is animal welfare, health, environment, cost savings. It's a pity, but some people are just full of hate for anything that implies it's acceptable to do something differently from the way THEY are doing it.

    January 3, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  42. Wendy

    I would be more impressed if the cups were not made in China. i would prefer to pay $2 for the cup and have it made here!

    January 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Tom

      It is about saving the world and not saving America. It is very interesting how all americans be so narcissistic.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Tom

      It is about saving the world and not saving america. It is mind boggling how all americans can be so narcissistic.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  43. trey

    where's the option "I may be inclined to use these cups if I can see a picture of it first" ??

    January 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Sean

      There's this thing called "google". You should try it.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • dream

      It looks like....a cup from starbucks.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  44. Kris

    Hey, I got one of their reusable cups TWO months ago.....and Starbucks coffee costs the same as about ten other places around town...1.95 pus tax.

    January 3, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • spf35

      Definitely costs more than home brewed coffee.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  45. Popester

    You couldn't find a company here in the U.S.? I chipped in and bought a wrist band from Starbucks to help small companies get their start. I expect better from the Starbucks!

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

      I agree with your sentiment. I am not drinking from the cup made in China. Many will be willing to pay a little more for a cup made in USA.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Saruman

      I could care less about where the cup was made.

      January 3, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  46. not-a solution-at-all

    Of course we wouldn't need this if Starbucks allowed us to reuse our paper cups but they won't because of the paranoid cross-contamination issue, which is a one chance in a trillion threat to anyone's health. But Starbucks' has to protect themselves from the one in a trillion lawsuit brought by some liberal allergy nut and her liberal lawyer, so none of us can simply reuse our paper cups. Instead they produce billions of PLASTIC cups that will not decompose in landfills, not to mention the tons of petrochemicals belched into the atmosphere to produce them, and not to mention the energy costs required to heat the water that is needed to rinse the plastic cup every time it's used. This is a perfect example of how liberals like to congratulate themselves on being environmentally responsible, but end up ruining the environment with their paranoid, government-must-protect-us-at-all-costs attitudes.

    January 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • SomeoneIsCranky

      What? Not sure why liberal females are the only ones that sue...

      I'm not saying there isn't some green washing happening in the world but you can't say that making a sturdy reusable cup is worse than making a a bunch of plastic or paper cups. It is your own fault if you don't reuse it.

      January 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Read then reply

      How nice of you to notice that the entire point of this is that the cups are biodegradable, and therefore not as resilient or expensive as actual plastic mugs/thermoses. Starbucks isn't avoiding a lawsuit, it's against the law to reuse paper anything in restaurant. Before you go off on a diatribe, at least know what you're railing against...

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

      These cups are made of bpa free plastics which makes them better for heated materials. "Paper" cups are not just paper. They have a thin plastic lining which is very high in bpa and phthalates(for flexibility), both of which have been proven to be neuro toxins and linked to all sorts of reproductive problems and birth defects. I'm not saying we should used plastic cups but a reusable one with no bpa and no phthalates(no need for flexibility) is way better than the disposable ones. Those paper cups are not as great as they sound. I use a ceramic cup, with a ceramic lid. That only has a rubber seal. I will have it as long as i don't drop it. Btw those plastic lining are in most things. Including aluminum cans and soda bottles. These are not wax coated dixie cups. Also I'm not some dumb liberal. I am just smart enough to avoid as much plastic as possible for my healtha and my families.

      February 16, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  47. Ztom

    I go to Starbucks every day. Towards the beginning of December, my local Starbucks sold me a special coffee mug for $30. I get $0.10 off each cup, and throughout all of January 2013, I get my coffee totally free. You can only get the free coffee if you have that specific coffee mug. So $30 investment is going to get me about $60 worth of coffee. Gain of about $30.

    And after January, I'll still keep getting the 10 cents off. I'd say it's a good deal.

    And I read the bottom of the cup – Made in USA! Kudos to Starbucks!

    January 3, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • spf35

      Or buy a mug somewhere else, and make you own coffee at home, and save about 60 dollars a month.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
      • bg

        This guy works for Congress. You gotta spend money to make money!!!

        January 3, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
        • Ztom

          Spend money to make money? That's actually a valid business saying. I've never heard Congress say that. They don't spend money to make money. They just spend money.

          January 3, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
      • Ztom

        That's an option, but I actually like going there. It's a social hangout for a number of locals who sit around before work for about an hour and chat. There's always a core group of 6 or 7 of us. I'd lose out on my morning socialization if I brewed at home.

        So I'm going to be there regardless. Might as well get my money's worth.

        January 3, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
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