Starbucks Debuts New Green Cups, Sparking Mixed Reaction | NBC Bay Area
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Starbucks Debuts New Green Cups, Sparking Mixed Reaction

"The green cup and the design represent the connections Starbucks has as a community with its partners (employees) and customers," the company's chairman and CEO said in a statement

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    Joshua Trujillo, Starbucks
    The new Starbucks cups, featuring a design by Shogo Ota, debuted Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016.

    Starbucks' holiday drinks are back -- and so is the controversy surrounding their cups.

    The coffee chain unveiled a new paper cup design Tuesday: a green cup with illustrations of the faces of more than 100 people, Business Insider reported. 

    "The green cup and the design represent the connections Starbucks has as a community with its partners (employees) and customers. During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other," Howard Schultz, the company's chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

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    The people are connected through one continuous line, drawn by artist Shogo Ota. While the message isn't meant to be divisive, it reignited last year's controversy over the company's red holiday cups, sparking mixed reactions from Twitter users.

    Some voiced their annoyance with the cups.

    Others, however, took it as an opportunity to poke fun at those who complained.

    Last year, Starbucks sparked criticism across social media when it released its red holiday cups devoid of the word "Christmas" or holiday designs, like snowmen or snowflakes.

    It isn't clear whether the company's classic red cups will make a comeback this holiday season. Starbucks wouldn't confirm whether the green cups are part of the chain's holiday plans, or if it would also use red cups.

    "The rest of our holiday plans are still under wraps," a spokesperson told NBC in an email.