Two years ago today…
Gives Every Customer Free, Refillable Travel Mug (Will Now Charge $1.25 Per Disposable Cup)
In a nationwide effort to green their retail locations, Starbucks announced today that it would be doing away with all of its non-recyclable cups, and giving customers free, refillable travel mugs. Starbucks goes through roughly 2.3 billion cups per year and has taken heat from several environmental groups since the plastic coating keeps them from being recycled with other paper products, contributing to massive amounts of landfill waste. They’ve also been scrutinized over the fact that the cardboard sleeve for hot beverages touts “Help Us Help the Planet,” which ironically, is only 10% recyclable. But none of that matters now that Starbucks has made a clean sweep of all their stores, replacing the plastic-coated cups with green refillable mugs, proudly showcasing the Starbucks logo.
The new mugs will be given away free of charge with purchase, but Starbucks will be raising the cost of their specialty coffee and tea beverages by 20% to offset production costs. In addition, any patrons who request a disposable cup will be charged an additional $1.25 convenience fee. When asked why they didn’t simply replace the cups with 100% recyclable materials, a representative of the company commented, “We considered that option, but then in addition to having to replace those disposable cups on a regular basis, we’d also have to bring in recycle bins which are very big and unsightly, don’t match our decor and detract from the full Starbucks experience.”
Starbucks expects to roll out the mugs in all locations by early summer, and a source has indicated that they are also working on some proprietary technology that will prevent the mugs from being filled with any competitor coffee, and will be equipped with a GPS tracking system that will emit an alarm whenever a customer is within a 3-mile radius of a Starbucks to promote refill visits. “We want to make it as easy as possible for our loyal customers to get their hands on Starbucks coffee throughout their day,” continued a company representative, “and with the money that we’ll be making with our new mugs, we’ll finally be able to open locations on the moon and in space stations throughout the galaxy.”
Beyond the mugs, Starbucks doesn’t appear to have any additional plans to green their practices, but press officials have stated that they’re fairly confident their carbon footprint in outer space is non-existent, and are putting measures in place to maintain that. It will be interesting to see how people respond to the travel mugs and resulting price increases, but one thing’s for certain, their customers will now only be one short wave radio emission away.