Activists Demand Recyclable Cups From Starbucks

If Starbucks isn’t your go-to for mocha frappuccinos, you’re probably living on another planet. Known for its wide range of flavors and misspelling names, the coffee chain is the largest in the world. With coffee moguls inventing edible coffee capsules, Starbucks still needs to step up its sustainability game. At GeekWire’s annual summit, protesters demanded recyclable cups from the food giant, creating a Cup Monster made with Starbucks products.

“If Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson is serious about transforming his company into a tech leader, he must first solve his company’s biggest environmental liability: the 8,000 [plus] cups that go into landfills every minute of every day,” said Stand.earth spokesperson Ross Hammond.

What makes Starbucks cups mostly un-recyclable is its inner plastic lining. While the company claims to incorporate post-consumer fibers into its cups, recycling methods vary among different states.

“It’s important to note that what is recyclable varies significantly by municipality and sometimes even by store. We pay local private haulers across the country to collect and recycle hot cups along with our other recyclable products, compost and trash.”

Extremely recyclable? Sort of recyclable? Regardless of how recyclable Starbucks thinks its products are, there is always room to be more eco-conscious.

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Starbucks To Charge Londoners For Single-Use Cups

Incentives such as edible coffee capsules and money-back deposits are finally making rounds in popular cafes. Though sustainable coffee has caused a significant ripple in the waste world, old habits die hard. To encourage coffeegoers to indulge in reusable tumblers, Starbucks is charging Londoners 5p for paper cups.

“To that end we will be exploring the impact that a cup charge may have in changing behaviour in addition to the measures we, and the whole industry, are taking on cup recycling,” [said Starbucks in an official statement.]

While Starbucks’ paper cups are recyclable, its thin sliver of plastic lining isn’t. Still, everyone’s go-to caffeine stop is better off than most. Plus, the cup money it raises will fund a “behavior change study” in the hopes of encouraging consumers to go green.

“We will investigate the impact of a 5p charge on a paper cup, coupled with prominent marketing of reusable cups, on customer behaviour,” the statement continues.

Well, folks — mug season starts today!

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