Belmont Starbucks Debut Reusable Cup

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.

There are three Starbucks locations in Belmont:

Belmont Village 1050 El Camino Real

Carlmont Shopping Center 1071 Alameda de las Pulgas

Safeway 1100 El Camino Real

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, or do you plan to? Tell us in comments.

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Gladwyn d'Souza January 17, 2013 at 10:03 PM
The dollar transaction creates the major environmental impact: from watersheds lost when forests arre converted to grow coffee beans, to tribes extincted by fuel extraction to ship consumerables across the planet. There is no environmental benefit except in banking your dollar.


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