About 2 weeks ago, I wrote a blog talking about how Starbucks is introducing this new reusable cup, which is suppose to be more environmental friendly. Well, I finally get a chance to meet the cup while I was on a trip! Here are the pictures! (And yes, the pictures were taken from a cellphone, so excuse the poor picture quality…)
When I look at the bottom of the cup, unsurprisingly it says “Made in China”. Frankly, I have no problem with making such cup in China (I mean, I am a Chinese and I am an analyst by training. Of course I want both US and China to benefit through trade and manufacturing process). But the problem I have the most out of this cup is really about how many tonnes of carbon is emitted during the transportation of this cup.
For the sake of comparison, a single passenger traveling on a flight from Hong Kong, China to Los Angeles, United States on economy class emits about 1.22 tonnes of CO2. If you want some visualization for this number, this roughly translates into a little more than the size of 35 Toyota Camry according to the greeneconomy.com. Now imagine you have thousands of these goods being shipped from China to U.S., the question is how many tonnes of CO2 this would this product create? And how many Toyota Camry would you need to fill up the CO2. Well, you do the math.
Overall, I think it’s a step forward for Starbucks to introduce this reusable cup. However, Starbucks really needs to be honest to its consumer in every aspect if they want to use sustainability as a marketing tool for this cup. And what I mean is that they should not on one hand being environmental friendly through enacting a recycling policy on its cup and the other, creating more CO2 through the transportation of this cup.
I hope in the near future, Starbucks could take this reusable cup a step forward. Perhaps, harvesting the material of this cup and manufacturing this cup with local source. Now, this would definitely cut down the CO2! And yeah, I don’t think consumers would mind paying a few cents more because of the increase in manufacturing cost in states. After all, consumers who purchase this cup are committed to true sustainability and they want their every penny they pay for in this cup!