Starbucks Is Testing A New, Compostable Paper Cup

In a continued effort to become more environmentally friendly, Starbucks announced this week that it is beginning a trial on new “more sustainable cup technology” in select stores in several cities worldwide.

Starting this week, a new BioPBS-lined cup will be used in select Starbucks stores in Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, and London, the chain announced in a press release. The cup was developed during a NextGen Cup Challenge, a campaign that works with food and beverages companies to address their single-use packaging waste.

As CNN explained, it’s still a paper cup and it will look much like the one you’re used to, but it’ll be different on the inside. The interior of the cup will contain a compostable liner rather than a plastic one so that it can be put into industrial composters. The trials will be conducted in cities with the infrastructure in place to properly recycle and compost these new cups.

During this new cup’s trial, Starbucks will aim to test (1) whether or not the cup performs just as well as its traditional cups and (2) to see if it is more easily recyclable than the chain’s typical cups. Starbucks also clarified that it will continue to look into other winning cup designs from the NextGen Cup Challenge.

All of this innovation is in pursuit of the goal of developing a more recyclable and compostable hot cup by 2022. The chain also announced a plan to achieve a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions, water withdrawal, and waste production by 2030.

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