Starbucks are investing £10 million to create a sustainable coffee cup in partnership with Closed Loop Partners, who promote sustainable consumer goods and recycling, in support of the NextGen Cup Challenge.
Starbucks announced the news on their website, and explained that around 600 billion paper and plastic cups are distributed globally, and the company claims that only 1 per cent of this figure is their cups. “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.
The new partnership means that cups will not have to end up in landfill and composted, recycled to be made into another cup, napkins or any item that can be made using recycled materials. The NextGen Cup Challenge will award entrepreneurs working on ideas that can lead to more sustainable cup solutions, and invites industry participation and partnership to tackle the issue.
Starbucks have been working on making a sustainable cup for over a year, with a new cup made with a plant based liner being put through its 13th test in a year, in efforts to make a greener, and more sustainable product. Tests conducted internally will determine whether the plant based liner is suitable with stringent safety requirements and quality standards when filled with a hot liquid.
Lynn M.Dyer, president of Foodservice Packaging Institute said: “Starbucks is a leader in the ongoing work to make a recyclable paper cup a reality. However, this takes a great deal of time and effort, and certainly not something that can be done alone or by simply designing a new cup.”
The paper cups used by Starbucks currently have 10 per cent recycled fibre, with the first cup of its kind being approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2006. However, recycling facilities in the UK and globally, are limited in terms of being able to recycle paper coffee cups and they often end up in landfill.