Starbucks offers Reusable Coffee Cups for $1

Starbucks wants customers to get green, and in return, they’ll save green. Earlier this month, Starbucks announced it would be offering reusable coffee cups for $1. The cups are made of plastic and are an attempt by Starbucks to decrease its waste and reach its goal of serving 5% of its beverages in reusable containers by 2015. To drive customer usage, Starbucks is offering customers 10 cents off with each refill of the cup.

The cups made it to stores this week, and I was lucky enough to snatch one up this morning. The marketing for the cups was not very visible, so I was only aware of the offering by seeing it in the news. However, the employees knew what I was talking about, and when I received my order I was handed it in the new reusable coffee cups.

The coffee cups are surprisingly very nice considering the low price tag. They’re made out of a rather thick plastic- so thick that I didn’t even need a coffee cup holder despite the fact the cups suggest I use one. On the front of the cup is the classic Starbucks logo, and on the back are the traditional boxes you see  on all Starbucks cups. The top snaps firmly in place, and is made of a harder, shinier plastic than the cup itself.



Already stores have begun selling out, and while I was at the mall, I had several people stop me to ask about them. All seemed interested in purchasing the cups after seeing the quality. It’s rumored that these cups last about 30 uses, though I’ll be attempting to use mine for many more.

Will these be a hit for Starbucks? Definitely. With increases of marketing, Starbucks could see strong sales, especially with in store displays (they could even have the barista ask the customer if they’d like to purchase the cup when ordering). There are many skeptics of these cups, primarily saying that while buzz about the cups is high now, customers will purchase and forget about them. That is a good possibility, especially given the “throw away” culture of the country. However, we all said the same thing about plastic grocery bags, and guess what? People use them often, and many stores offer similar 10 cent discounts like Starbucks is offering. It’s even rumored that Dunkin Donuts and Tim Hortons are in talks to follow and offer reusable cups in the near future.

What do you think? Could Starbucks help change our culture (and least in the coffee world)? Decrease our landfills and help us go on a green path? I hope so. I know I will be keeping my Starbucks cup at close reach for those mornings when I just need some coffee. I don’t think Starbucks (or anyone for that matter) think this will make a huge push for reusable products, but at least it’s a small step.

-Bryan Nagy