Starbucks Tests a Greener Cup

Starbucks implemented new cups in various cities across the world to promote an environmentally friendly way of serving customers. The paper cups have a liner made out of biodegradable materials instead of the customary plastic option. Heather Haddon of the Wall Street Journal noted that “the coffee giant on Monday started using a prototype of a more sustainable paper cup in some of its cafes in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, and London.” Starbucks is still ensuring top quality coffee by asking baristas and customers whether their drinks are remaining hot and avoiding leaks.

Two years ago, Starbucks joined the movement for more environmentally friendly service by banning the use of plastic straws and setting a goal of eliminating the item from its stores by 2020. Starbucks also uses strawless lids for many of its cold beverages. In an article written by The Guardian, Arwa Mahdawi stated “cold beverages make up more than 50% of Starbuck’s beverage mix, an increase from 37% just five years ago.” In addition to implementing its no straw policies, Starbucks now turns to the cup itself.

Many people in the public are concerned with the environmental risks posed by plastic, and Starbucks does not take these worries lightly. Earlier in the year, Starbucks stated it wanted to cut the amount of waste generated by half in 2030, but there have been challenges to the company’s goals of being greener. Just before 2009, Starbucks recognized the issues surrounding the recycling of its cups and began to focus more on packaging efforts and other ways to help the environment. In 2018, both Starbucks and McDonalds “committed $10 million to a partnership among consumer companies working to develop more sustainable cups.” Also, internal research teams within the company have begun studying ways to have a cup for hot drinks that can be recycled and composted by 2022.

For now, Starbucks will begin testing the new greener cup in its stores. This new way of serving customers came after twelve prototypes were tested, but the final product’s coating inside is made of renewable material that can be spread onto paperboard before cutting. Starbucks will continue to think of new ways to achieve its goals of sustainability and environmentally friendly packaging, but for now, the coffee giant is on the right path towards success.