Is Starbucks Going Sleeveless?

       By: Cindy Brock
Posted: 2009-11-23 04:08:17
If you're a regular customer of Starbucks and enjoy a hot drink, then you know about the little cardboard "sleeve" they put around the cup to keep you from burning your hands.During a recent visit to Starbucks, they handed me my drink without a sleeve. When I asked for one, the employee said that they were discouraging use of the sleeves and may not even give them out any longer.Since that time, I have been given several reasons as to why Starbucks is considering this option:Reason #1: Starbucks is trying to "go green." Their belief is that customers will reuse their sleeve. Let's be real: the sleeve is made of cardboard - which is a recyclable product. They are already "going green" by using it. The bigger problem I see is that because it is made of cardboard, if it gets wet just a few too many times, it's useless. Then I'm back to needing a sleeve.Reason #2: They are trying to save money. Well, in today's economy, I can see where millions of little cardboard sleeves could be a hefty expense for a worldwide company like Starbucks. However, when you're paying $3-5 for your designer coffee, what's another 5 cents for a sleeve. I would have no problem at the drive-thru saying, "I want a solo venti decaf pumpkin spice latte sub 2 mocha soy well stirred extra whip and sleeve". In the language of Starbonics, what's an extra word here or there? They can give me a sleeve and add 5 cents on to my total if necessary. No fuss, no muss.I'm sure you've been in a restaurant where the server hands you a plate and says, "It's very hot." They had it to you with their bare hands so you figure, "how hot cold the plate really be?" Then you accidentally touch it and you're sure you have third-degree burns. Apparently, this is true with coffee cups: some people simply have no issue with the temperature of the cup. I am not one of those people. You hand me something too hot and I am going to drop it.During my past 10 visits, only one time I was automatically given a sleeve. On that visit, I had actually saved my sleeve from the previous visit. As I was sitting in the car, waiting for my drink, I read the sleeve. It says in plain print, "Intended for single use only." Now I'm completely confused. They want me to reuse my sleeve, yet it's only intended for a single use. (Don't get me started about the plastic inserts you can use to close the opening to keep from spilling!)I have sent an email to Starbucks corporate asking them to confirm this information. As of the writing of this article, no response has been received. If/when a response is received, a follow-up article will be written.In the meantime, I will try to reuse my sleeve - until it falls apart. Then I'll ask for a new one.
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