Starting today at all of its U.S. and Canadian locations, Starbucks is introducing a cheap but durable plastic cup that the company hopes its patrons will use, and re-use, to help reduce the mountain of paper cups it sells. Resembling the disposable cups already in use, the plastic alternatives will sell for just one dollar, and come with a ten cent discount on any beverage when used.
Designed to hold tall or grande size drinks, and anything smaller, Starbucks will also clean the cups with boiling water before filling, at no extra charge. Tested in 600 locations in the Pacific Northwest for the past few months, Starbucks found the number of plastic cups that were brought back in had jumped by 26 percent compared to the previous year. So it's a tiny promising step towards the company's goal of serving up five percent of the drinks it sells in reusable cups by 2015. [Starbucks via 24/7 Wall St.]