Starbucks $1 Reusable Cup: Is it Right For You?

Starbucks $1 Reusable Cup:  Is It Right For You?  {The Greening Of Westford}
In January Starbucks introduced their $1 reusable cup.   In an effort to encourage more customers to bring their own mug instead of using a disposable cup each time.  Starbucks feels that this low price will make it an affordable alternative.  Their goal is to serve 5% of their beverages in reusable cups by 2015.  Currently, that number is only 1.9% (2011).
 I had to try it out for myself.  My local Starbucks sold out quickly.  The manager told me that they were only given 75 to start, but she ordered more.   So I went back a few days later and purchased one along with the man in front of me.
My Initial Impressions
  • Inexpensive, at this price customers might be able to have a few to make sure there is one in the car at all times
  • Saves 10 cents each time it is used paying for itself in 10 uses.
  • They are recyclable in most areas once they wear out 
  • It is HOT!  Like too hot to hold without a sleeve.  Both the man in front of me and I commented on this.
  • It is plastic.  Although it is BPA-free #5 plastic, the question among those concerned about plastics is “What is replacing the BPA?”  And in the end it is still plastic.
  • The top was difficult to remove and put back on.  I was afraid I was going to spill the entire mug.  It loosened after a couple of uses and isn’t a problem anymore.
  • Only good for 30 uses.  
  • I still wondered if I’d remember to bring this mug.
Since I now have a “spare” reusable travel mug, it actually stays in my car!  I have used it a couple of times.  Only a few because I don’t get coffee out that often.
To fix the temperature issue, I used an old sock.  I cut off the top of one of my husband’s old socks (had a hole in it and happened to get washed with something red turning it slightly pink).  It’s not the prettiest thing but it works and the barista commented on how cute it was!
I’m still concerned about it being plastic and that is meant to carry a hot liquid.  Plastics are more likely to leach toxins when heated.  That is why I never put plastic in the dishwasher or microwave.
I wasn’t pleased to discover that this cup is only expected to last 30 uses.  When this cup wears out, I will invest in a stainless steel one to keep in the car – along with my reusable grocery bags.  I think I’ve proven to myself, that if I have an extra mug designated for the car, I will leave it there.  
Personally, I would love a see a borrowing type of system.  Maybe you join a club for a small fee, or leave a deposit, and you get a travel mug – a stainless steel one.  Next time you bring that back for them to clean and get another one.
I’m curious to find out if this new cup is bringing Starbucks closer to their 5% goal. 
Have you bought one of these cups?  Do you bring your own mug?

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4 Responses to Starbucks $1 Reusable Cup: Is it Right For You?

  1. Kelly October 27, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    I completely agree with the idea of a ‘borrowing’ system! I have thought that many times going through a Starbucks drive thru.

    I purchased a reusable cup for the first time today and I do not like it. I felt like it made my drink taste different. I never heat plastic, and I’m wondering if the awful taste came from leached chemicals??

    I think stainless is the way to go for sure!

    • Kristina October 29, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

      Oh no Kelly! I’ve never had my coffee taste different, but I can’t say it surprises me. Stainless steel definitely! Thanks for commenting!

  2. Carolina at January 2, 2015 at 11:25 pm #

    Loved this! I came across your article while researching the Starbucks cup once I decided to do a post on a home-made sleeve since the cup got SO hot. I thought your idea was great. I hope you don’t mind, I posted a link to this on my blog.


  1. Simple Sleeves | Life Improved - January 2, 2015

    […] researching the Starbucks cups and its safety before I admitted to using it, I came across this fun blog called The Greening of Westford. The Blogger here had a similar experience with the volcanic temperature that seeps through the […]

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