Starbucks’ $10m Challenge to develop and Eco-Friendly Coffee Cup

May 3rd, 2018

Starbucks is sponsoring a challenge targeting the paper coffee cup.


Today’s post is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Consultant, SafeSourcing.

Starbucks is sponsoring a challenge targeting the paper coffee cup. It is the hope that scientists, chemists, or the average tinkerer can develop a paper coffee cup that is compostable, breaking down in such a way that it disappears or can be used as a component in another product.  The problem isn’t the paper cup, it is the lining.

Six-hundred billion paper cups and plastic cups are used worldwide each year. Starbucks reports that coffee drinkers and other customers represent 1%, which is about 6 billion.  The NextGen Cup Challenge was announced in March in conjunction with Closed Loop Partner’s Center for the Circular Economy, which advocates sustainable goods and recycling.  Inventors working on this cup conundrum will receive grants.

This is the first initiative of a global end-to end solution that will allow cups from around the world not to end up in landfills and composted or given a new life as another cup, napkin, or even furniture. Currently Starbucks cups are made with 10% post-consumer recycled fiber.  In 2017, Starbucks began serving their Nitro Cold Brew Coffee with sippable lids, so no plastic straws are needed.  Reusable cups are the best answer; however, any movement to reducing the amount of waste that goes into the landfill is a good thing.

SafeSourcing regularly sources cups and lids. To help your business be more competitive with your sourcing needs. For more information on SafeSourcing, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you.


Ziati Meyer (USA TODAY), Arizona Republic, 3/26/2016




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