Starbucks to roll out greener cups, strawless lids

Coffee giant Starbucks has unveiled several new plans for sustainable coffee, including greener cups, fewer straws and the opportunity to digitally trace your coffee’s journey from seed to cup.

According to a Starbucks press release, the coffee giant will trial new, greener cups over the next year in several markets worldwide, including New York, San Francisco, Vancouver and London. The cup technologies will be chosen from the NextGen Cup Challenge, a competition that seeks to identify cup technologies that can be recyclable and compostable on a global scale.

“It is with great intention that we move forward with highly collaborative and innovative work to bring both recyclable and compostable cups to scale around the world,” said Kevin Johnson, President and CEO of Starbucks.”

The Seattle-based company also plans to roll out new lightweight, recyclable strawless lids to all stores in the US and Canada next year, part of the company’s efforts to phase out plastic straws from its more than 30,000 stores worldwide by 2020. Plastic straws will still be available upon request for customers who need or request them.

In addition, Starbucks will soon preview a feature for its mobile app, which shows the coffee beans’ journey from bean to cup. Such digital traceability empowers coffee farmers by allowing customers to better understand where their coffee comes from and who grows it.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Starbucks and its suppliers on engaging coffee farmers in real, two-way dialogue on this topic,” said Bambi Semroc, Vice President of Sustainable Markets and Strategy for Conservation International, which is conducting farmer interviews in Costa Rica, Rwanda and Colombia for the project.

“We are innovating to help connect coffee drinkers with coffee communities, with the goal to return more value to farmers by first listening to their stories, their knowledge and their needs.”

Image credit: Starbucks

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