starbucks and mcdonald's join forces to finally end cup waste

starbucks and mcdonald's join forces to finally end cup waste

in an unlikely alliance, two of the world’s largest food and beverage retailers have joined forces as part of an initiative to reduce cup wasteunder the nextgen cup consortium, convened by closed loop partners, a platform that invests in sustainable consumer goods, recycling and the development of the circular economy, mcdonald’s has joined starbucks as founding member of the group to develop a global recyclable and/or compostable cup solution.

starbucks and mcdonald's join forces to finally end cup waste
starbucks’ earthsleeve™ hot cup sleeves are also both recyclable with cardboard, and compostable in commercial systems
image courtesy of starbucks



‘we are proud to come together with industry partners like mcdonald’s to drive innovative, scalable solutions for cup waste,’ mentions colleen chapman, vice president of global social impact focused on sustainability for starbucks, ‘a better cup will benefit the entire industry and we invite others to join us as we move these efforts forward.’ the initiative follows starbucks‘ previous efforts to improve its ecological footprint, including the 2015 global rollout of its earthsleeve™ hot cup sleeves, made from less paper and more post-consumer content. mcdonald’s has now committed $5 million in partnership with closed loop partners to help launch the nextgen cup consortium, bringing the total funds dedicated to the challenge to $10 million. the first focus of nextgen will be the fiber-based hot and cold cup, as it is the most pressing issue faced by the industry, while then its work will expand to the entire cup system, including lids and straws. 

starbucks and mcdonald's join forces to finally end cup waste
the current mcdonald’s coffee cup
image courtesy of mcdonald’s

  • Thanks Starbucks and McDonalds…I keep my favorite carry mug with me to have great brewed coffee from McDonalds or Starbucks…and Black Rock in Oregon.

    Bob Arias
  • $5 million?! That compared to waste that company generates not mentioning their earnings. Sorry, but that doesn’t look like serious intentions to me…

  • I have used both cups. Let’s start with removing the wax coating on the cup. One because of the little bit of after taste it leaves in the mouth. Two the wax coating has to break down first before the cup does. As we know not all cups make it back to the trash can. Just a thought guys.

    Troy Houghtaling, Sr.
  • While I applaud the pledge and dollars towards their efforts to reduce waste…if everyone got in the habit of carrying reusable containers like klean kanteens we wouldn’t need recyclable cups. I invested in several containers that keep beverages hot or cold and have reused them for over 3 years. I make a habit of having them with me. Let’s all chip in!!

    Amy Siegel
  • Brilliant initiative. We have been working on manufacturing our coffee cup tray ‘muggi’ from recycled waste paper coffee cups and now have a viable product that will help re-use the waste created by single use coffee cups and create a multi-use tray thus helping to reduce even more waste creation with disposable cup holders!

    David Trotter

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