Starbucks paper cup

As an occasional customer of Starbucks, I’m frustrated by its policy of automatically giving customers a paper cup over a ceramic mug when sitting in. Recently in one of their cafes, I asked everyone sitting in (all of whom had paper cups) if they were given the option of a ceramic mug. Not one person had been.

This directly contradicts Starbucks policy (as received by me in an email from it following a complaint about this) that its customers have a choice when ordering coffee and ideally it wants them to use ceramic but it cannot enforce that.

This is incredibly wasteful in the context of a climate emergency, particularly considering that there are 49 outlets in the greater Dublin area alone.

Starbucks is in a unique position to take a public stand and action in this space that would have a huge ripple effect on other retailers and customer behaviour.

It would seem that a change in training in Starbucks with the addition of one simple question and the resulting actions by baristas would make all the difference.

Sara Dennedy,
Dublin 3.

Mug shot – paper or ceramic? (The Irish Times letters page)

19 thoughts on “Latte To The Game

  1. Col

    Many moons ago, I worked in a Starbucks and there were two main reasons for not giving out ceramic mugs:
    1. At busy times, most of them would be in the dishwasher or waiting to go in the dishwasher.
    2. People were stealing them, meaning there were fewer and fewer available.

    1. $hifty

      You don’t have to be a snide, condescending know-it-all on the internet, either, but look at you go! There’s no shtoppin’ ye, boyo.

      What a ridiculous concept…….You don’t have to go to the cinema, buy nice clothes, drink Guinness, eat in a restaurant, drive a car, kiss your girlfriend, play with the dog etc…..but it’s FUN! It brings people enjoyment. Things like a cup of coffee are a nice indulgence to help you forget about the world we live in for a few minutes. A world where we’re barely a fortnight into the decade and already we’ve had the pope slapping people, WW3 is on the horizon, 200 people were just blown out of the sky, and vast swathes of one of the most bio-diverse continents is a smoking ruin.

      You don’t have to drink coffee…….but it helps.

      1. postmanpat

        It doesn’t help the environment though. Also it is part of the corporate monoculture hell we live in . They aren’t “green” so a general boycott until they get there act together. Or just get in the habit of not going to Starbucks and blowing money which you’ll be sorry you didn’t save in 6 months time…

        1. $hifty

          “It doesn’t help the Environment though”…….So bleedin’ what?
          Neither does buying phones or PC’s, but I’ll wager you have both. How many tellies have you got? How many cars parked outside your gaff? How many flights have you taken in the last few years?

          Why must everything be viewed through the prism of saving the planet? Take a break, pal, live a little. If you weighed everything up by its effects on the environment, you’d be better off wrapping a skipping rope around your neck and jumping off a bridge.

          1. postmanpat

            Though the prism..? (eye roll). To answer your questions:. I have 1 flat screen TV that’s 8 years old , (not including 4 Old CRT tube tellys saved from landfill for projects) One car that is 14 years old actually sitting outside the gaff most of the time because I cycle a bike everywhere. A Samsung s7 bought second hand a few years ago which I will use until it wears out at which point I will replace with another used phone because the are all the same essentially. You sound like the type of person who doesn’t give any consideration to the environment and think everyone is the same ,except they aren’t.. Keep your skipping robe and suicide advise, sip your double expresso, made by baristas, fresh out of barista college,(so you know it’s better!!) and shop for stuff you don’t need online on your iphone 11. Sounds like hell to me but you think it is “living a little” (it’s not) which only further shows how sick your mind is.

    1. Robert

      I think the authors issue is not with her own usage, but “at large”.

      This suggestion is meaningless, as the problem she describes will carry on regardless of whether she goes there or not.

      Ye little mollusc.

  2. Emzo

    Shouldn’t they also be asking
    “Do you have your own re-usable cup?”
    “Do you want to buy a re-usable cup?”

    And pointing out the special offers / reductions in price for going reusable?

  3. Spaghetti Hoop

    You can get ceramic mugs, cups and saucers in almost all of our independently-owned Irish coffee shops. They don’t need to scrawl your name on the cup either!

    1. Paulus

      Ah, but do these local independents employ a barista armed with knowledge needed to blend ground coffee with boiling water? Such alchemy is surely beyond the scope of a mere local coffee shop?

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        What exactly do you mean by ‘local’? Is that local to you?
        Most of the Irish-owned independent coffee shops I go to, be it for breakfast, lunch, whatever, appear to have a coffee machine with a skilled operator. Shure the noise of it would tell you that, without looking for it.

  4. White Dove

    Bring your own mug! Imagine writing to the paper about a privately owned company and its choices in terms of serving its customers. And imagine a paper publishing this!

  5. thefatlad

    Alternatively, stop paying for rank coffee, farted out by a corporation intent on strangling local business and buy your coffee in a local coffee shop.

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      For some, Starbucks IS their local coffee shop. I think you mean independently-owned and not a multinational brand?

  6. Tea And Brexits

    Perhaps if Starbucks stopped trying to write customers’ names (as heard) on paper mugs, then ceramic would be the norm.

    Bear Market Coffee in Dublin for me.


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