Starbucks Primed To Create First 100% Recycle Disposable Coffee Cup
Seattle-based coffee company Starbucks – which is responsible for one per cent of the 600 billion paper and plastic cups that are distributed around the world each year – is now ready and raring to go with regards to creating the first 100 per cent recyclable and compostable disposable coffee cup.
According to iNews, the company will be rolling out this cup in stores inside the next three years after spending an impressive $10 million (£7 million) on this particular initiative.
Vice-president of global social impact Colleen Chapman explained that there is now a level of dissatisfaction across the board with how much progress the industry as a whole is making on this waste issue, with no one thinking it’s moving quickly enough.
“We are declaring a moon shot for sustainability to work together as an industry to bring a fully recyclable and compostable cup to the market, with a three-year ambition,” she went on to say.
The coffee giant will be working alongside Closed Loop Partners, a company that invests in sustainable manufacturing technologies, to set up a consortium and launch the NextGen Cup Challenge. Entrepreneurs will be awarded grants for ideas that could see a more sustainable cup solution created.
However, the plans have drawn criticism from some quarters, such as co-founder of the charity A Plastic Planet. Sian Sutherland did praise the company for addressing the impact that the millions of cups they produce annually have on the environment, but she did say that there’s no need to wait for three years to bring out a compostable cup – since these already exist.
Ms Sutherland begged the question – how many cups with plastic lining will be manufactured and put out there while we wait for Starbucks to come up with its new cup? And she also pointed out that recycling may not be the answer to the plastic problem where coffee shops are concerned, since the majority of plastics can only be recycled a couple of times, so they’ll end up in landfill eventually anyway.
This comes after it was revealed that the UK government rejected calls to roll out a 25p levy on disposable coffee cups to help tackle the growing waste problem in the coffee shop industry. Some 2.5 billion disposable cups are binned each year, but Whitehall has deemed the new charge plans to be an ineffective way of dealing with the issue, it would seem.
Labour MP Mary Creagh – chair of the environmental audit committee that recommended this levy be introduced – stated earlier this month that although the throwaway culture here in the UK is having a big impact on seas, beaches and our streets the government’s response to the committee’s recommendation shows that they don’t plan to take any real action “despite warm words”, the Guardian reported.
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