Starbucks unveils five new holiday cups – including an environmentally friendly reusable one

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(CBS News) – Starbucks and the holidays go together like coffee and cream. The coffee chain announced Wednesday that their signature holiday drinks will be available starting Thursday, November 7 — and their much talked-about holiday cups have been unveiled.

Four new seasonal cups were revealed on Twitter Wednesday morning, and they are all very merry. In fact, one says “Merry Coffee” all the way around it. All four cups use traditional colors, red and green, although that was a point of contention in the past. 

In 2015, Starbucks was accused of a “war on Christmas” when they unveiled plain red holiday cups that did not explicitly say anything about the holiday. Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump even called for a boycott of the minimalist cups. 

The chain’s annual holiday cups regularly draw both praise and criticism on social media. Their first ever holiday cup was purple. So was the second. Starbucks started releasing holiday cups in 1997 and since then, various designs have featured everything from little a village made out of coffee pots, to a man sledding with a dog, to a winking snowman.

In addition to this year’s four disposable cup designs, Starbucks is also offering a reusable holiday cup with a similar “merry” theme. Customers who order a holiday beverage will get a free reusable cup on the day they launch, November 7. 

Customers who get that cup can bring it back to any Starbucks throughout the holiday season for a coffee refill — and if it’s after 2:00 p.m., the company says they’ll get 50 cents off a grande holiday beverage.

Earlier this year, Starbucks began testing new “greener” cups. Some of the more environmentally friendly cup designs were compostable, and others were straw-less. The company has promised to phase out plastic straws by 2020.

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