News & Opinion | March 9, 2020 11:40 am

Starbucks Reportedly Testing Environmentally Friendly Cups

The new cup was selected from 12 prototypes

(Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

You may not necessarily notice a glaring difference in your morning coffee today, but as the Wall Street Journal points out, Starbucks quietly began testing a prototype of a more eco-friendly cup today at some of its locations in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver and London.

The new paper cup features a biodegradable liner instead of the traditional thin plastic liner that is used on most paper cups to prevent liquid from seeping through. As the Journal notes, “That liner has made those cups difficult to recycle because it is difficult to separate the plastic and the paper components.”

According to the publication, Starbucks executives will be asking baristas and customers about whether or not the new cups are able to keep drinks hot and prevent leaks. The company pledged earlier this year to cut the amount of waste it generates in half by 2030, and packaging reportedly accounts for more than half the company’s waste every year.

Starbucks considered 12 different prototypes before eventually landing on the one that will make its debut on Monday, according to Jane Tsilas, a Starbucks senior manager overseeing sustainability and packaging who helped lead the new cup research. The new cup features a coating made from renewable material that is melted and then spread onto paperboard before being cut.

“This cup really led the pack,” Tsilas told the Journal.

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