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article imageStarbucks testing a greener coffee cup with biodegradable liner

By Karen Graham     Mar 9, 2020 in Environment
Seattle - One can never be sure if the paper cup decorated with green arrows and pictures of trees holding hands with the sun is actually recyclable. Things are not always what they seem, including the current Starbucks disposable hot coffee cup.
Starbucks' current coffee cups have thin plastic liners on the inside that keeps the hot beverage from seeping out, however, this makes disposal of the cups a challenge.
After years of development, Starbucks is rectifying the problem beginning today when it will begin testing a greener prototype cup in select stores across the world. According to The Wall Street Journal, these cups will only be available at some Starbucks locations in London, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver.
The liner is made with a biodegradable material called BioPBS that is melted down and then laid out on paperboard. Starbucks will be keeping track of reviews on the new cups by asking baristas and customers if they're leaking and/or keeping drinks hot.
The new design is one of 12 prototypes Starbucks has considered. Earlier this year, Starbucks announced it was going to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and the amount of waste it sends to landfills by half over the next decade, according to The Verge. The company also aims to conserve or replenish 50 percent of all the water it uses by 2030. The company’s goal is to have a more recyclable and compostable hot cup “solution” by 2022.
In related news, Starbucks has closed its first store due to the coronavirus. On Friday, Rossann Williams, Starbucks executive vice president, said in a letter to partners the coffee giant immediately closed the Starbucks at 1st and University in Seattle, Washington once results revealed a store partner tested positive for COVID-19.
"Because this is our first confirmed case, we felt it was best to reach out and share this update with you all," Williams said in the letter. "I wanted you to know that we are taking care of the partner and supporting them with whatever they might need. We also recognize that closing a store can cause hardship for some partners, and we’re caring for them in every way possible. Out of respect for the partner, I ask that we all honor their privacy and avoid sharing details publicly in social media. For now, we are all focused on supporting them, doing what is right for all of you, and supporting all field leadership and store partners with whatever they need."
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