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Cheap Starbucks Reusable Cup Debuts

The $1 tumblers have been met with mixed reviews.

Starbucks launched a new, cheaper reusable plastic tumbler earlier this month to help customers save some cash but the verdict is still out on whether the cups will have a positive environmental impact.

The new tumblers are an effort to reduce coffee cup waste, which Starbucks has been criticized for. The coffee giant generates about 4 billion cups globally each year. 

The new reusable cups cost $1. Customers receive a 10 cent discount every time they use the cups, so the tumblers pay for themselves after 10 lattes.

Approximately 28 percent of Americans have either purchased one of the cups or plan to, according to a study by YouGov Omnibus conducted earlier this month.

The cups bear the green Starbucks logo and look much like the standard paper cups. They have fill lines inside denoting "tall," "grande" and "venti"-sized drinks.

Some Starbucks are selling out of the tumblers, which are made in China. But there is some concern that the tumblers may just be a trend and, like reusable grocery bags, customers will forget to use them.

Challenges in changing customer behavior, as well as trouble tracking how many coffee drinkers opt for reusable cups, led Starbucks to reduce its goal of 25 percent reusable cups by 2015 to 5 percent.

Prior to the reusable tumbler, Starbucks already offered a 10-cent discount to customers who brought in a reusable mug. 

Do you think the economical reusable cups will have a positive environmental impact? Have you purchased one? Tell us in comments.

x January 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM
"But how long do the cups last? This hasn't been as well-publicized, but they have a relatively short life. My barista said they're good for about 30 uses, which replaces about a pound of paper or roughly 3.5 pounds of wood used to make the paper. Just don't pop them into the dishwasher, or it'll be less than that. They're recyclable -- plastic No. 5 -- but not every recycling firm will sort them out." http://www.postbulletin.com/news/local/answer-man-those-reusable-cups-don-t-last-long/article_7a8b2c78-af08-56bf-bf53-b4ac52be0060.html
YENRAB January 18, 2013 at 05:37 PM
If Starbucks was serious about caring for the environment, they would offer bigger discounts exclusively for using one of these cups. A 10 cent discount just don't do it for me.
Jennifer Squires January 18, 2013 at 06:38 PM
I'm not sure why people need this option instead of using regular reusable cups. I love my $6.99 reusable tumbler that I picked up at Bed Bath and Beyond. It comes everywhere with me. Discount or not, my cup keeps drinks hotter longer, doesn't spill and I'm doing a little to help the keep cups from dumps.
Ann Crosbie January 18, 2013 at 06:43 PM
How about if they stop automatically putting the heat shields on the cup? Offering them is fine but I have my coffee at a drinkable 130 degrees. If it needs a heat shield it is the wrong temp. If you purchase a short drink they automatically DOUBLE cup. Silly.
Webmaster November 29, 2013 at 07:28 AM
It is also a good idea for using reusable cup. But for business we don’t irritating the customer in any way is in mind.

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