Starbucks commits $10M for greener coffee cup

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Starbucks is making a $10 million commitment to develop a greener coffee cup that is fully recyclable and compostable. (KFSN)

Starbucks says it is going to redesign paper coffee cups for better recycling and composting and promises to spend $10 million to do so.

The company on Tuesday announced a series of internal and external steps intended to reduce or eliminate the use of plastic.

One of those steps includes a three-year program called the "NextGen Cup Challenge" in partnership with Closed Loop Partners' Center for the Circular Economy. The program would give entrepreneurs working on the problem some $10 million in grant funding. The goal is to give cups a second life and keep them from landfills.

The company also says its research and development team is testing a new bio-liner, made partially from plant-based material. At the Starbucks annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, attendees were given coffee in small sample cups that are fully recyclable.

It's not the first time the company has made promises about recycling. In 2008, the company pledged to make all of its cups recyclable by 2015.

Now, there's a new law that will force the company's hand at least in the city of Seattle. As of July 1st, all food services businesses in Seattle will have to cut back on or end the use of plastic.

Starbucks says its paper cups are currently manufactured with 10 percent post-consumer recycled fiber. The inside is coated with a thin liner designed to meet quality and safety standards.
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