Want a refill? Starbucks hopes you use its new cup

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Starbucks has begun selling $1 reusable cups for refills as part of its goal to cut back on waste.

The new white cups with the familiar Starbucks logo are marked for 12-ounce and 16 ounce refills. The refills come with a 10-cent discount, the same reduction customers get if they bring in their own tumblers. Starbucks, however, hopes you’ll start using its cup.

The reusable cups are cleaned with boiling water each time a patron brings one in. The company said they have been a hit in the Pacific Northwest, which is why it was rolled out to all of its locations on Thursday, including metro Atlanta.

On its website, the company said nearly 2 percent of all beverages served at company-owned stores in 2011 were served to customers in their own personal tumblers. The goal is to increase that to more than 5 percent by 2015, which is down from an original aggressive goal of 25 percent.

32 comments Add your comment


January 4th, 2013
2:34 pm

First – Now how about the rest of the fast food industry cutting down on their packaging waste?

Have you ever bought food for 3 people or more from Chic Fil A ? You wind up with all kinds of styrofoam and non-recyclable packaging, it’s just too much.

Look around you – most of the trash you see in public areas is from fast food.

We should have refill sacks and only paper packaging for fast food sales as well as coffee.

OK, off to get some more Starbucks now in my 8 year old refill cup…


January 4th, 2013
2:38 pm



January 4th, 2013
3:09 pm

Coffee is $1 at McDonalds!!


January 4th, 2013
3:16 pm

Yeah coffee might be $1 at Mickey D’s, but Starbucks tastes much better!


January 4th, 2013
3:24 pm

BAMA MAMA – you’ll recycle eventually, even if it’s your corpse being cremated or decomposing in the ground. :)


January 4th, 2013
3:32 pm

i could eat a meal at mickey d’s with money left over for the price of a starbucks speciality


January 4th, 2013
3:33 pm

McDonalds buys their coffee from starbucks


January 4th, 2013
3:49 pm

So let’s see–

They’ll charge me ten cents less and claim it’s to be “greener”.

How many therms will they use to boil that water?


January 4th, 2013
4:00 pm

I agree with Kevin on the boiled water issue. Also, what is it made of? Petroleum based plastic?


January 4th, 2013
4:23 pm

So now if I get in my Ford F-350 and drive to a StarbucksI can claim I going green?

Aaron Smith

January 4th, 2013
4:42 pm

Hippies are filthy beasts who don’t bathe. That’s why they have to clean the cups with boiling water. To protect the servers. It would be a shame if all those English lit majors that pour coffee for a living got sick.


January 4th, 2013
4:56 pm

Many people already know, some don’t, that Starbucks gives you a free cup ‘o coffee when you bring in an empty Starbucks coffee bag.


January 4th, 2013
6:52 pm

Aaron Smith–Had you majored in English Litterature instead of Baseless Arrogance, you might have become sufficiently educated to learn how to write in complete sentences. Luckily RM, lee, and Bud will still let you serve them at MacDonald’s.


January 4th, 2013
7:13 pm

BAMA MAMA, don’t you have some trees you need to go poison?


January 4th, 2013
7:18 pm

As of October 16, 2012, Starbucks no longer offers a free coffee with an empty bag!

mad russian

January 4th, 2013
7:36 pm

Yeah @Lee but you’ll still be a fattie from eating that garbage.


January 4th, 2013
10:34 pm

I don’t recycle period. This is a marketing gimic

Tom in Marietta

January 4th, 2013
10:47 pm

@Cartaphilus – That was funny until you misspelled McDonalds!

Hoohaa tickler

January 5th, 2013
12:43 am

Who gives a flying hoohaa….its still called 5bucks coffee…..10 cents off or not!


January 5th, 2013
2:45 am

@Tom in Marietta Well, there goes My arrogance!


January 5th, 2013
7:53 am

Does Mr Seward get free coffee for life for giving Starbucks this free advertisement? Is this really news?

Richard Too

January 5th, 2013
8:06 am

Thanks to all the above…Yall just put a large grin on my face. And in the end @Richard, you are right…Free Advertisement!!!! at our expense no matter witch side of the tree fence you’re sitting on. (a few werds spelt incorrectly so all could understand this) Have a Great Day.

Recycling sucks

January 5th, 2013
8:57 am

All these three-hugging environmentalist losers can go to hell. Today. Seriously, die.


January 5th, 2013
9:20 am

McDonald’s coffee for the money—better than starbucks


January 5th, 2013
9:25 am

Wow ! a whole dime off a refill…what can I do with so much savings ?

Richard Too

January 5th, 2013
9:51 am

oh, I guess I should have added I was sitting in Starbucks reading this article just after the barista(thats a coffee server person) offered me the $1 cup and the free green advice. I realized it would take 10 purchases to get my dollar back. Naaaaaaa. I do sit and enjoy a tall coffee and then get the free refill plus bonus drinks every so often. That means I average about $1 per cup from them. I thinks jailbirds should perform Dump Duty and recycle our waste instead of working out and watching TV. Just a thought.

shadow signs

January 5th, 2013
10:13 am

What exactly is a three hugger?


January 5th, 2013
11:50 am

“As of October 16, 2012, Starbucks no longer offers a free coffee with an empty bag!”

I swapped an empty bag for a free cup @ the Starbucky’s in Johns Creek about a week ago so that can’t be right.


January 5th, 2013
12:08 pm

a three hugger is three tree huggers on the same tree

Come Together for Higher TAXES

January 5th, 2013
2:37 pm

Well, thanks to the new payroll tax increases, I can’t afford Starbucks anymore. So I will come together with some Maxwell House instead….

thanks Obama voters – that’s a few fewer dollars in tips for the barrista each week because I had to send my money to the government instead.


January 6th, 2013
11:39 am

I for one like styrofoam cups. I like to get a drink at 8am and 3pm still have ice. Also 10 whole cents off is not going to make people in masses start getting reusable cups. They need to take a close look at what some Cstores do with reusable cups. Pay 5 and get refillls for .25 for a year. That would do it. But then again Starbucks cares more about profit than the environment and only do things like this to please the customers who want an option,

Karen Wedge

January 6th, 2013
2:20 pm

I am glad to see this move to reusable cups by Starbucks. I do think the .10 cent savings for bringing your own cup/mug is quite weak and hardly an incentive considering the price of the average Starbucks specialty coffee and the great interest in reducing our consumer waste. I realize Starbucks wants to advertise their own logo when customers are walking around with take out coffee — logos which are most likely not on the average person’s personal mug. I’ll note that Caribou Coffee used to give a .50 cent discount for bringing your own cup and, to my great disappointment, Caribou has lowered that to .10 cents as well. (I used to give the .50 back to the coffee baristas as a tip.). In addition, one other important topic should have been addressed in the move to reusable cups. The polyethylene or wax coating that is applied to the disposable paper cups to make them water-resistant is very possibly a health hazard in hot drinks — as I have heard well respected nutritionists remark that some of that coating melts into your coffee. The reusable mugs avoid this. I also was interested in reading in a former article a few years ago about the “Grounds for Gardens” program begun in a few areas of the country which help prevent all the Starbucks franchise used coffee grounds from just going into our landfills. Used coffee grounds are a wonderful fertilizer for the garden! Starbucks, keep up the efforts to make things better for our health and our beautiful country.