Food and drink giants join forces for new sustainable cup

McDonalds and Starbucks have joined together to develop the next generation of recyclable and/or compostable cups for the benefit of the entire food and drink industry.

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It is hoped this will prevent approximately 600 billion cups from heading to landfills worldwide, with work also being done with the WWF to ensure the materials are recovered for another high-value use.

“Working together across the entire value chain of these major companies will allow us to create a comprehensive and lasting solution to this critical conservation challenge,” the NGO said.

However, McDonald’s and Starbucks are just the latest companies to commit to the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge convened by Closed Loop Partners earlier this year.

The challenge kicks off in September and invites innovators, entrepreneurs, industry experts, and recyclers to submit their ideas for the next generation of sustainable cups.

Up to seven awardees will receive as much as $1m (£0.77m) of funding based on key milestones, and enter a six-month accelerator program to help scale their solutions. 

The challenge will be open to supply chain leaders and innovators that have promising solutions to recovery of single use cups, with a focus on the fibre-based hot and cold cup.

NGOs, human-centred design, academic leaders, the paper and plastic industry, recyclers, composters, and municipalities will all work together to ensure the cup is grounded in the needs of the entire value chain.

McDonald’s has committed $5m to help launch the challenge, bringing total funding to $10m.

The company’s US senior vice president, Marion Gross, said: “McDonald’s is committed to using our scale for good to make positive changes that impact our planet and the communities we serve.

“We are excited to join Starbucks and Closed Loop to help solve this pressing challenge as collaboration is key to finding a scalable, lasting global solution.”

Image credit | iStock

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