Starbucks is tackling the problem of trash from disposable cups with a new offering, a $1 reusable tumbler, which is available across the USA and Canada starting today, January 4. Owners of the new tumbler, which visually resembles the iconic Starbucks paper cup with the brand’s green logo, will have a discount each time they refill it. According to USA Today, the environmentally friendly tumbler “pays for itself after 10 uses.”
For Starbucks, recycling disposable cups is one of the critical issues since the chains’ consumers throw away great number of used cups, which end up in landfills, streets and waterways. Starbucks does a lot to decrease the amount of such litter by launching recycling and cleaning initiatives and encourages consumers to use tumblers when they buy coffee at the chain, but multiuse cups have never been as cheap as the new tumbler. “It’s not a burden for people to buy two or three,” says Jim Hanna, the Director of Environmental Impact at Starbucks. He also notes that Starbucks will clean the cups for customers with a boiling-water rinse before each refill. The cup also has interior lines to indicate the “tall” or “grande” size—one cup works for any size.
The new cup, which is manufactured in China, has been already tested in 600 Pacific Northwest stores, and this drove positive change—“boosted the number of reusable cups 26% in those stores last November, compared with the same month a year earlier,” wrote USA Today. In fact, most of the chain’s loyal customers are eco-minded, so the new move can really be a success. We all grew up in disposable culture and for us it’s easier to buy something new than preserve the old, but gradually we can get used to the new rules (but of course, it might take a while).