How often do you bring a reusable coffee cup or tumbler in to a coffee shop when you stop for a cup of coffee? If you’re anything like me, the answer is “not often enough.” Starbucks, and other coffee shops, have long been offering a small discount on coffee or drinks for bringing in your own cup but this incentive hasn’t been enough to make a big dent in coffee-lovers’ habits yet. Today, Starbucks is launching a new kind of reusable cup in an effort to encourage more customers to go green with their coffee. The lightweight plastic cups look like paper cups, only cost $1 and still save you 10 cents on each drink that you fill them with at Starbucks. They are washable, but they will also be cleaned with boiling water by baristas before being refilled, too.
In test markets, these inexpensive cups boosted consumers’ reuse by as much as 26% – a huge increase over the current rate, which is less than 2% of drinks served. Starbucks and the eco-minded are both hoping that this will change the habits of at least a few coffee drinkers.
At only $1, I’m willing to add one or two to my collection of tumblers (or replace the ones that don’t fit in my car cupholders) and make a little more of an effort to use them. And now that I’ve seen them in person, they look pretty nifty, too.