Starbucks has announced that it is rolling out new plastic tumblers for $1 apiece in hopes to further cut down on trash from disposable cups. All company-owned stores in the US and Canada will sell these tumblers — and as with its existing reusable tumbler program, Starbucks customers will get a 10-cent discount for each refill so that, as USA Today notes, " the cup pays for itself after 10 uses." These new cups will resemble Starbucks' paper cups, bearing the company logo and marked with interior lines denoting "tall" and "grande" sizes (sorry, venti drinkers).
A Starbucks spokesperson tells the newspaper that stores will clean the cups with a boiling-water rinse before each use and that the coffee chain has already been testing the cups in 600 Pacific Northwest stores, which "boosted the number of reusable cups 26% in those stores last November, compared with the same month a year earlier."
Skeptics, however, point out that Starbucks "has had limited success" with cup reform, and indeed the company "has sharply reduced its goal of having 25% of its cups be reusable by 2015 to 5%" in its latest global responsibility report. The company also said back in March that it was hoping to serve 100% of its drinks in either reusable or recyclable drinks by 2015.
Starbucks' $1 plastic cup. [Photo: AP]