With its popularity and reach around the world, Starbucks is in a position to set a standard when it comes to responsible disposable packaging. But, like paper straws, these changes are sometimes a tricky sell to customers.
— Danni Santana
Starbucks has ramped up efforts to reduce the amount of its cups that end up in landfills.
The coffee chain will trial new “greener” packaging in select U.S. cities, Vancouver, and London that will help curb waste by 2022, following months of scrutiny from environmentalists for the 7 billion cups distributed by the company each year. The current design uses 10 percent recycled paper material with a plastic lining that makes it difficult to recycle, according to CNBC.
Starbucks’ new mandate follows the creation of a multi-year consortium in partnership with McDonald’s and Closed Loop Partners in October 2018 to help identify technology that can help restaurants make packaging more recyclable or compostable. The company additionally announced plans to eliminate the use of 1 billion plastic straws used annually by customers at more than 30,000 of its stores last summer. Starbucks said Wednesday it will finish rolling out strawless lids to all locations in the U.S. and Canada by early 2020.
“It is with great intention that we move forward with highly collaborative and innovative work to bring both recyclable and compostable cups to scale around the world,” CEO Kevin Johnson said, in a statement. “We are reimagining the future for Starbucks, with a great sense of responsibility for a more sustainable planet.”
In an effort to keep more eco-friendly initiatives coming in the future, Starbucks has announced a $100 million investment in Valor Siren Ventures I L.P, managed by Valor Equity Partners, which will find and invest in startups developing technologies relating to food and retail.