In October 2012 Starbucks announced their Reusable Recyclable Travel Coffee Cup Made of Polypropylene (Recycle Plastic #5).
The announcement (a blog entry on the Starbucks.com website) focused on the low cost of the cup ($1) and the fast ROI (return on investment) after 10 uses — there’s a 10 cent discount on refills.
Features & Benefits
Here are some points that have thus far been mostly left out of the media reports about this cup.
- No Plastic Smell. Unlike other plastic-based hot beverage cups that may emit a plastic odor or flavor when hot beverage are poured in, the Starbucks Polypropylene cups maintain flavor integrity. By contrast, a McDonalds coffee cup (like the one pictured below) can smell more of plastic than coffee when served.
- Feels Great. The drinking spout in the lid of this new cup is very smooth. The feel of it is much better than any thin plastic lid normally used on disposable coffee cups. It’s even preferable to most expensive travel mugs.
- Light Weight. This cup is light and less bulky than other travel mugs, so it’s easier to carry around.
- Low Cost. Because the cup is only $1, and it’s a nice cup for other uses, if a person forgets their cup, the cost of buying an extra one isn’t too high. This is similar to the 99 cent bags at the grocery store. If you forget your reusable bags, buying a few more isn’t cost prohibitive. Keeping extras at home, in the car, or at work, is affordable.
- Recyclable. It’s nice that these cups are recyclable. Even for those who don’t plan to reuse the cup, at least it can be placed in a recycling bin where #5 plastic is accepted.
- Great Mixing Cup. Because the lid seals securely, this cup is great for mixing powdered drinks and other beverages. Just place your fingers on the spout and air holes and shake.
Plastic Smell. The McDonalds coffee cup below emits a strong plastic odor and flavor. This may be partly due to the materials used and also the extremely high heat that McDonalds serves their beverages at.