Starting today (Thursday), Starbucks is offering their customers a way to help save the planet. The coffee chain is offering $1 plastic cups, which can be reused for drink purchases with a discount of ten cents.
Jim Hanna, the director of environmental affairs at Starbucks, told USA Today that while the company has sold reusable tumblers for some time and offered the ten cent discount, he expects that the modest price of its new one, available at company-owned stores in the U.S. and Canada, will encourage consumers to take action more frequently. About 4 billion Starbucks paper cups are tossed in the landfill each year.
By 2015, Starbucks plans to have front-of-store recycling in all its company-owned locations.
In 2011, Starbucks customers used personal, reusable tumblers more than 34 million times. That’s about 2% of the drinks the company serves each year.
The reusable cups are made in China, and have fill lines inside denoting “tall,” “grande” and “venti”-sized drinks. The cups will be rinsed with boiling water by Starbucks employees before they’re refilled, reducing the risk of cross-contamination.