Christmas isn’t Christmas without a Starbucks controversy

A poodle eats Starbucks ice cream at a pet-friendly Starbucks in China
But can we all agree that this pet-friendly Starbucks in Tianjin, China, is awesome?
Photo: Zhang Peng (Getty Images)

Starbucks released its holiday cups last month. Amazingly, they caused absolutely no controversy. None! Not a peep! Nobody complained that the company was taking the “Christ” out of Christmas. Nobody protested over lesbian propaganda. Jews and Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists and everyone else who isn’t Christian didn’t complain about having to submit to religious hegemony in the form of coffee cups in a nation that promises freedom of worship for all. (Oh, whatever. You know we’re all used to it by now.) Everyone (that is, every potential hater) seemed satisfied that these were the perfect cups for a quarantined, cis-het, Christian nation.

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But is the holiday season really the holiday season without a Starbucks controversy?

It all started on TikTok, of course, when a user posted a video from a Chinese Starbucks of “the craziest bag I’ve ever seen to carry your coffee.”

It looks like a napkin, but when you lift it up, it turns into a bag that looks a bit like a basketball net except held together at the bottom. And then you can carry your coffee! You can also hang it over the handlebars of a bike or a moped.

Immediately the comments section broke out in argument because that is what comments sections do. Some commenters applauded the usefulness of this innovation and wondered when it would come to the United States. Others deplored the wastefulness and lamented the sea turtles that would inevitably be strangled—even after other commenters pointed out that the bags are probably biodegradable, because why would you believe anything you read on the internet?

Yahoo!Life looked into the matter and determined that yes, indeed, these bags are biodegradable and that they are widely used across Asia. Delish reports that these bags have been in use since at least 2016 (apparently they were “discovered” by an American student in Shanghai).

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But, hey, the days are short and gloomy, so let’s cheer ourselves up by fighting on the internet. It’s just what we need!

Associate editor of The Takeout. Chicagoan. Owned by dog.

DISCUSSION

The most surprising part of this story is that Yahoo exists. Also, I see no benefit to Americans here. No one rides bikes* and our cars have cupholders.

*Except the unemployed, homeless, bike couriers and other bottom feeders of society, and they don’t need (or deserve) coffee for anything.