Starbucks Gets Greener with New Reusable Plastic Cups

starbucks-plastic-cupStarbucks Coffee Company is getting a bit greener.

The company announced it would start selling a $1 reusable plastic white cup bearing its logo at all U.S. and Canadian locations starting tomorrow.

Starbucks previously conducted a pilot project testing the plastic cups across several hundred of its stores in the U.S., and initiated at least another two environmentally related pilots for its cups.

Starbucks previously teamed with various partners, including North American paper mills, to test post-consumer cups, including paper cups – but the company has now decided to offer plastic based cups, after several challenges, including lack of demand by paper mills to use the paper cups, and process difficulties in “successfully creating new recycled used cups into fiber suitable for producing new cups,” according to the company.

The company already offers a $0.10 discount to consumers that offer their own cup. The new reusable plastic cups will first be sanitized for consumers at locations using boiling water before use.

In a Nov 30, 2010 press release, the Seattle-based coffee maker said it wanted to make sure 100-percent of its cups are reusable or recycle by 2015.

As of September 2011, Starbucks said it accounts for approximately four billion annual cups world-wide, or about 0.008% of all cups produced annually across the globe.

Starbucks now says it wants to serve 5% of all coffees sold globally with recycled cups.

The company continues to explore new ways its cups could be recycled into different products, including bath tissue.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) closed up about 250 basis points in today’s trading session to $55 per share.


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Tahir holds a Bachelor Commerce Finance degree from Ryerson University in Toronto. He is planning to purse an MBA in Finance. Write to tahir@business2press.com
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