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Cheap Starbucks Reusable Cup Debuts

The $1 tumblers have been met with mixed reviews.

Starbucks has launched a new, cheaper reusable plastic tumbler 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 has brought Starbucks some criticism. 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.

Jennifer McGaffey January 18, 2013 at 07:54 PM
It's your own cup being reused for your drink...and you know, you can wash it. Do you use only disposable cups at home?
John Stashik January 18, 2013 at 08:19 PM
Made in China? So much for the Starbucks campaign for jobs in the USA. Not for me.
Dover January 18, 2013 at 08:40 PM
DJ may have cause for concern. I don't know how things are done at Starbucks (boo, hiss, yuck) but at another coffee establishment that shall remain nameless they first fill the customer's cup with hot water in order to clean and heat the cup and some of the more spaced-out employees immerse the head of the hot water dispenser into the water in the cup. Yeah, it's hot water but it's not sterile-hot and even worse, when asked about this practice they promise that they clean the head of the dispenser between customers which means they wipe it down with the same filthy rag they use to clean the counters. And I am willing to bet that most customers do not take their cups home and wash them after each use. Some of these people are drinking multiple cups per day.
dj January 19, 2013 at 01:32 PM
I'll be more specific. As I've witnessed. The sick, coughing person holds their ceramic cup by the rim and passes it to the employee. The employee holds the cup by the rim and makes them a drink. The employee then holds my cup by the rim and hands it to me.
Carole Parker January 19, 2013 at 04:22 PM
I love these ceramic cups ... Use them at home for travel mugs and easy to clean. That sick coughing person holding your paper mug is just as likely the barista. Gotta start somewhere with reducing waste and this seems like a good place.

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