Starbucks Encourages Paper Cup Recycling

Do you recycle your Starbucks cup? Does your local coffee shop even offer that option?

All of the 8.2 million paper cups of coffee that Starbucks sells each day can be recycled, but very few are. Starbucks wants to change this, but how?

Recycling companies tend to focus on the materials with higher resale value—like aluminum and cardboard. A product with a lower resale value (e.g. a paper coffee cup), often gets left behind.

“The focus is often, `What can I do to the cup to make it more recyclable?’ ” said Jim Hanna, Starbucks’ director of environmental impact. “What’s more important is, `What can I do to the infrastructure to make these cups more recyclable?”’

So what is Starbucks doing?

  • In some areas, Starbucks has installed separate bins for coffee cups to segregate them from the other waste.
  • Starbucks is working with some companies that have agreed to recycle their cups.
  • In some cases, Starbucks has bought back the recycled content and used it to make paper napkins.

This is great news for the paper cups that Starbucks does distribute, but that number needs to be reduced. What are they doing (other than 10 cent discount) to encourage people to bring their own mug?

Does your Starbucks offer recycling for its paper cups?

You can read more at the Mother Nature Network website here.

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