On its journey to develop a more recyclable and compostable hot cup solution by 2022, Starbucks is beginning in-market testing of a more sustainable cup technology.
Starting this week, Vancouver will be included in the cities trialing the new BioPBS™-lined cup, with additional market tests running in Seattle, San Francisco, New York and London.
The cup, being tested in select stores for a limited time, features an innovative cup liner, called BioPBS™, which makes the cup certified compostable and recyclable.
Customers will not see any noticeable difference from the current cup as Starbucks aims to create a seamless customer experience with the new cup.
In 2018, Starbucks, and co-founder McDonald’s, committed $10M in partnership with Closed Loop Partners to establish the NextGen Consortium and NextGen Cup Challenge.
The NextGen Cup Challenge seeks to address single-use packaging waste by developing an industry-wide recyclable and compostable to-go cup solution.
It began with a six-month design competition that received hundreds of ideas from industry experts and cup scientists alike.
From there, the Consortium identified 12 winning teams to further work with on their potential to serve as solutions for various business models.
In March of 2019, Starbucks announced a commitment to conduct market tests with the cup technologies in select stores in five cities, including Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Vancouver and London.
Starbucks then conducted months of internal research and development at their Tryer Center, putting the various cups through an array of tests for quality and performance measurements.
In addition, the company evaluated manufacturing logistics, scalability, and pricing of each cup.
The BioPBS™-lined cup was chosen to introduce to Starbucks partners and customers to test the overall experience in stores.
The testing doesn’t end there. Starbucks is currently working with Closed Loop Partners, the Consortium and other businesses on continuing to test and validate the recyclability of the various challenge winners, including the BioPBS™ cup.
Starbucks is also continuing work with key stakeholders in the recycling industry to advocate for increasing the overall recyclability of cups and ensure they are ultimately accepted within municipalities.
The journey to find a more sustainable cup solution is part of Starbucks’ aspiration to be resource positive, giving more than it takes from the planet.