For nearly a year, Starbucks has been gradually phasing out its traditional flat lid for the irksome sippy cup model. My local stores long carried both, but since last year, I’ve had to specifically ask for the flat lid. They became “available upon request” much like straws. Lately though, local Starbucks are flat out of of flat tops.
Starbucks is proud of the change and brags that the “sip lid” uses nine percent less plastic than the old flat top and straw. That’s well and good, but they neglect to mention that the sip lid creates 90% more mess. The sip lid has been used on hot drinks for years, but stoppers are also available to insert into the hot lid and prevent sloshing. There is no such stopper for the sip lid. When you’re carrying or driving with drinks, liquid freely flies from the lid’s large open slot. Furthermore, I’m no aerodynamic wizard, but I’m positive that the angle of the sip nozzle causes the lid to attach less firmly to the cup than the flat lid does. It tilts itself right off the drink and onto the floor. With one tiny touch, the lid lifts off and flies askew, allowing liquid to break free to ruin any clothes, car seats, papers or electronics within a venti’s grasp.
Notice that I haven’t even mentioned the precarious dome lid. That’s because no one wants to see me cry.
Starbucks may have reasoned that since sippy cups work so well for babies, they would be great for adults. But that overlooks the fact that a child’s sippy cup is designed to be spill proof. They come with screw top designs that keep the lids affixed and straws and handles designed to lock in liquid, when the child is not drinking. Starbucks lids are equipped with no such safeties.
The new cups may be better for the environment, but not for my cleaning bill. Furthermore, there’s something juvenile and unsophisticated about sippy liquid intake. I need a lid that makes me feel as mature as my espresso does.
I appreciate Starbucks’ desire to use less plastic, but have they considered alternatives like using cardboard for the protein boxes or paper straws with the drinks, rather than a sip lid that flips lids, leaving a path of spilled latte in its wake?