Starbucks Is Testing Out A Greener Coffee Cup In Select Stores

Though they’re made from more sustainable materials, the coffee chain says the new cups shouldn’t be discernible from their non-compostable counterparts.

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Getty Images

Starbucks is now testing out a prototype cup with a biodegradable liner in select stores.

On Monday, the coffee chain began trialing new recyclable, compostable cups in several locations around New York, San Francisco, Seattle, London and Vancouver.

The paper cups are coated with a compostable liner that was chosen out of 12 prototypes created through the NextGen Cup Challenge. McDonald’s and other industry leaders partnered in the design challenge with Starbucks, which was launched with the goal of redesigning the fiber of to-go cups to be more recyclable and eco-friendly.

Though they’re made from more mindful materials, Starbucks says the new cups shouldn’t be discernible from their non-compostable counterparts.

“Customers will not see any noticeable difference from the current cup," the company said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Starbucks announced its new goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions and the waste it contributes to landfills by half over the next decade. Until recently, it was also offering discounts to customers who brought in their own reusable coffee cups. However, the company recently announced the temporary suspension of the use of personal cups and tumblers over coronavirus concerns, even though it said stores will still honor the discount.

"We are optimistic this will be a temporary situation," Rossann Williams, Starbucks' president of company-operated businesses in the United States and Canada, said of the suspension in an open letter on the company's website.