March 10, 2020
Starbucks has created a “greener” coffee cup by inserting a liner made out of biodegradable materials, rather than continuing to rely on the thin plastic liners added to most paper cups to keep liquids from seeping through.
Starting on Monday, March 9,, a new BioPBS-lined cup will be tested in select stores in Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, and London.
The company said in a press release that it is evaluating the new liners because the plastic in its cups has been difficult to separate from other components during the recycling process.
Starbucks executives said they would ask baristas and customers whether the new cup keeps drinks hot and avoids leaks. They hope customers won’t notice any difference from the current cups.
While the company characterizes the new design as an “exciting step forward,” Starbucks will continue to evaluate additional NextGen Cup Challenge-winning concepts and cup technologies, as well as learn from other reusable and recyclable innovations to find the most sustainable solutions for its business, partners (employees) and customers.
Starbucks is one of many consumer companies working to address customer concerns that they generate too much waste. Public awareness over the environmental risks posed by plastic waste is at the highest level ever, according to a McKinsey & Co. report released last year.
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, McDonald’s has pledged to procure much of its nonplastic packaging from recycled or sustainable sources by this year. What’s more, Yum Brands. last month said it would make all packaging at its Taco Bell division sustainable by 2025.
Starbucks and McDonald’s in 2018 committed $10 million to a partnership among consumer companies working to develop more sustainable cups. Starbucks also started its own internal research and set 2022 as a goal for a new cup for hot drinks
VaResearch contact: @Starbucks