Here’s What Starbucks’ New, More Sustainable Cups Might Look Like

Back in July, Starbucks and McDonald’s teamed up to help the environment — more specifically to develop a recyclable, compostable cup solution. The project is part of Starbucks’ initiative called the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge, which they launched earlier in 2018. Now, they’ve announced the winners of the challenge, and they’re now one step closer to producing more eco-friendly, sustainable cups.

Almost 500 submissions from over 50 countries later, 12 winners were chosen. These companies brainstormed and created more innovative, recyclable and compostable cup liners; new, compostable, plant-based materials; and reusable cups.

“It’s encouraging to see such a diverse range of innovative solutions that represent milestones in the journey toward more comprehensive recyclability and compostability of cups across the board,” says Nina Goodrich, one of the judges of the challenge and executive director of GreenBlue and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, in a press release.

Winners were chosen from three categories: Innovative cup liners, new materials and reusable cup service models. 

So, what will the new cups look like? Well, They’re still being tested but here are some possibilities.

Image: Footprint.

 

Image: NextGen Cup Challenge.
Image: Mushroom Cup.

According to the release, these recognized solutions have the potential to “turn the 250 billion fiber to-go cups used annually from waste into a valuable material in the recycling system.” These solutions also have the potential for companies to reduce their reliance on raw materials.

This NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge is just the first step of the Consortium’s three-year effort. The next step is to test and pilot the winning solutions and then they’ll hit shelves. 

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