Starbucks Is Testing a New Compostable Paper Cup

March 13, 2020

Starbucks is known for its seasonal cups, but it’s trying something new in order to be more eco-friendly.

The coffee chain announced that it will be testing a “more sustainable cup technology” in select stores worldwide including Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, and New York.

The cities chosen to test the cups have all been determined to have the infrastructure to properly recycle them, according to CNN.

The purpose of the cup, which was submitted through the NextGen Cup Challenge, is to eliminate waste while also maintaining the great quality that’s to be expected of the chain.

While to the untrained eye, the cup won’t look or feel much different from the current paper cup, the inside will make a world of difference as it will be lined with a compostable liner.

"Customers will not see any noticeable difference from the current cup," the company assured in a statement, which seems to be the point.

Currently, the cups are made from 10 percent post-consumer recycled fiber but the interior is plastic that isn’t easy to recycle.

Starbucks has been on a mission to find a “greener” cup alternative but struggled to find one that was high in quality and also cost-effective.

According to the press release, they believe their goal will be attainable by 2022.

The giant will keep its options open and consider other cups submitted through the NextGen Cup Challenge, which began in 2018 as a way to find compostable solutions.

Additional ambitious plans for the chain include reducing 50% of carbon emissions, water withdrawal, and waste production by 2030.

While Starbucks usually encourages patrons to bring in reusable cups (and even offers a 10-cent discount), the chain announced that it is suspending the use of personal cups and tumblers to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. The policy will take place at all North American stores.

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