Starbucks fast-tracks design of recyclable, compostable cup

Starbucks fast-tracks design of recyclable, compostable cup

Coffee chain Starbucks is committing 10 million dollars (8 million euros) to bring a fully recyclable and compostable cup to the market within the next three years. Currently, some six billion Starbucks cups are distributed per year, an impressive 1% of the world's total. 


Taking matters into hand

The American coffee company is now launching the NextGen Cup Challenge, in an effort to reduce its ecological footprint. "Our store partners proudly pour sustainably sourced coffee in over 28,000 locations around the world, but everyone wants to take our ability to serve it sustainably to the next level," says vice president Colleen Chapman. “No one is satisfied with the industry progress made to date, so today, we are appealing to entrepreneurs and the industry around the globe to design a cup that is truly recyclable and compostable."


The NextGen Cup Challenge 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 or given a second life as another cup, napkin or even a chair. The challenge will provide participants with financial and technical resources to fast-track a global solution.


Starbucks has struck a collaboration with Closed Loop Partners to this end and is expecting to develop solutions that will be open source and free to benefit everyone concerned with the world's environmental challenges.  Last year, Starbucks already designed a lid for its Nitro Cold Brew Coffee which eliminates the need for a straw and the American company is trialing a 5 pence charge on the use of its paper cups in the UK.