Major Coffee Chain Working on “Fully Recyclable and Compostable” Cup

Published March 27, 2018 at 3:05 am


Have you ever thought about how many of your empty coffee cups are sitting in landfills? Well, coffee at one major chain in Mississauga is set to get a lot more sustainable.

You might be excited to learn that coffee giant Starbucks is working to create a “fully recyclable and compostable cup” in the next three years.

“Our store partners proudly pour sustainably sourced coffee in our 28,000 locations around the world, but everyone wants to take our ability to serve it sustainably to the next level,” said Colleen Chapman, vice president of Starbucks global social impact overseeing sustainability.

“No one is satisfied with the incremental industry progress made to date, it’s just not moving fast enough. So today, we are declaring a moon shot for sustainability to work together as an industry to bring a fully recyclable and compostable cup to the market, with a three-year ambition.”

According to Starbucks, an estimated 600 billion paper and plastic cups are distributed globally. Starbucks cups account for about one per cent of that, but that’s still a substantial few billion cups every single year.

How does the chain plan to create a fully sustainable cup?

Well, Starbucks recently invested $10 million in partnership with Closed Loop Partners towards the NextGen Cup Challenge.

“This is the first step in the development of a global end-to-end solution that would allow cups around the world to be diverted from landfills and composted or given a second life as another cup, napkin or even a chair – anything that can use recycled material,” said Starbucks in a recent release.

The challenge is set to award grants to entrepreneurs working on ideas that might develop more “sustainable cup solutions,” says Starbucks.

“Through this partnership, the Challenge will enable leading innovators and entrepreneurs with financial, technical, and expert resources to fast-track global solutions, help get those solutions to shelf, through the recovery system and back into the supply chain” said Rob Kaplan, managing director of Closed Loop Partners.

The challenge is set to be open source so others can access the information to create more sustainable cups globally.

Starbucks paper cups are currently manufactured with 10 per cent post-consumer recycled fiber, which is a start.

It’ll be unique and interesting to see how the new cup unfolds!

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