Fills Starbucks reusable cups

Starbucks rewards eco-friendly mug ideas with $ 10 million

Starbucks fills around six billion coffee mugs every year. Most of the time they end up in the trash. The coffee chain now wants to change that - and is offering high subsidies to entrepreneurs who are working on ideas for sustainable cups.

Coffee mugs are an ecological nightmare. The combination of cardboard and a thin layer of plastic will keep the drink warm and hands dry, but it is difficult to recycle. Around 600 billion such cups are used worldwide every year, with the Starbucks coffee chain being responsible for around one percent of them according to its own information.

10 million for good ideas

Starbucks is now investing $ 10 million to find a design for a more environmentally friendly coffee mug. As the company announced on Tuesday, it has entered into a partnership with Closed Loop Partners, with whose support the so-called “NextGen Cup Challenge” is to be launched. A working group set up for this purpose is to talk about subsidies for entrepreneurs who make a contribution to the development of a sustainable solution to the environmental problem.

Our goal: the first fully recyclable and compostable cup. 💚☕️♻️ Excited to partner with @LoopFund in serving coffee more sustainably. https://t.co/JP7a8wWR67pic.twitter.com/1ZbfgnipRl

- Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) March 20, 2018

Ten years ago, Starbucks promised to reduce the environmental impact of its coffee business. So far, the company has not been able to meet the ambitious goals. According to CNN, Starbucks promised back in 2010 that by 2015 all of its cups would be reusable or recyclable. Today the cups consist of only ten percent recycled fibers and are only recycled in cities with a “suitable infrastructure” - Starbucks names Seattle, San Francisco, Washington and New York as examples.

Environmental activists against Starbucks

Environmental movements have long been calling for curbing waste production through disposable cups - and have often addressed their actions directly to Starbucks. Last summer, Greenpeace activists protested in front of a branch in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin under the motto “Time for a cup turn”. According to a study cited by the Association of German Environmental Aid, around 460,000 disposable cups are used every day in the German capital alone.

BREAKING: We just delivered a petition signed by over 973,000 people demanding that @Starbucks clean up its #StarbucksTrash and #breakfreefromplastic! Add your name here: https://t.co/Y5E4SXNNHEpic.twitter.com/nX6JRZVBkw

- breakfreefromplastic (@brkfreeplastic) March 21, 2018

At the beginning of this week, various environmental initiatives announced that they had collectively collected around 900,000 signatures via the Internet. The online petitions call on Starbucks to only use 100 percent recyclable cups.