Sustainable coffee, served sustainability
At last year’s shareholders meetings, Starbucks launched multi-year initiatives around greener cups and digitally traceable coffee.
“Today thanks to many valuable collaborations, we’re seeing significant, tangible progress toward a greener future,” Johnson said Wednesday.
Over the next year in several markets worldwide, Starbucks said, it will trial new, greener cups. More than 4,000 shareholders heard the news as they sipped from one of the fresh cup technologies. The tests will hit New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, and London in an effort to find a cup that’s recyclable and compostable in those municipalities’ facilities. The chain will choose the cup technologies from NextGen Cup Challenge winners announced earlier in March.
Starbucks launched a NextGen Consortium last spring with Closed Loop partners, looking to identify cup technologies that could meet its sustainability goals on a global scale. A year later, the group includes founding member McDonald’s, along with supporting partners The Coca-Cola Company, Nestle, YUM! Brands, Wendy’s, and the World Wildlife Fund.
Starbucks previously said it wants to double the recycled content, recyclability, and reusability of its cups by 2022.
“It is with great intention that we move forward with highly collaborative and innovative work to bring both recyclable and compostable cups to scale around the world,” Johnson added. “We are reimagining the future for Starbucks, and for the more than 30,000 communities we serve each day, with a great sense of responsibility for a more sustainable planet.”
Starbucks is rolling out new lightweight, recyclable strawless lids to all U.S and Canada stores in the next year. The move marks a key milestone as Starbucks works to phase out plastic straws from its more than 30,000 units worldwide by 2020. As announced in July, the change would eliminate more than 1 billion straws per year from the marketplace.
The new strawless are headed to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, and Toronto this summer, with the rest to follow by early 2020.
These have 9 percent less plastic than the current lid and straw, Starbucks said. Frappuccino drinks and other blended beverages will continue to feature a different, domed lid made from recyclable plastic and be accompanied by a straw, except where local law prohibits it. Additionally, Starbucks is testing alternative material straws for blended beverages and exploring some of the NextGen options that could apply. Regardless, plastic straws will remain available for those guests who request them.
The company unveiled another sustainability change. Starbucks is previewing a feature for its mobile app that allows customers to trace coffee’s journey from bean to cup. The reveal from Starbucks’ SVP of global coffee and tea, Michelle Burns, included an on-stage tasting of digitally traceable Starbucks Pike Place Roast. The package, in the future app feature, could be scanned to show its journey from origin to shelf.
Starbucks is one year into a two-year project to explore the benefits of digital traceability.