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Starbucks rolls out $1 reusable cup

Jennifer Kwan

Starbucks Corp is making a big bet its customers are ready to go green. The ubiquitous Seattle-based coffee chain began selling its $1 reusable plastic cups at its U.S. and Canadian stores this week.

The popular brewer already offers a 10-cent discount to customers who bring in a reusable mug and hopes its new white plastic cup, which has the green Starbucks logo on it, will enhance environmental stewardship.

The cups, which can hold a tall or grande brewed or hand-crafted beverage, were tested in 600 stores in the Pacific Northwest starting in October.

"An important component of our overall waste reduction strategy is the use of reusable cups," the company has said in the past. "We have also advocated for improved recycling infrastructure and using post-consumer fiber in our packaging."

In its latest global responsibility snapshot, Starbucks said it served 1.9 per cent of drinks in customers’ personal tumblers in its company-owned stores around the world in 2011. Customers brought their own tumblers into its stores more than 34 million times, saving more than 1.5 million pounds of paper from landfills, the company said.

Starbucks wants to serve 5 per cent of beverages in reusable cups by 2015, a modified goal from 2008 when the company said it wanted to serve 25 per cent of all drinks in reusable cups by 2015.

Will you shell out $1 for a reusable cup?