Industry Events

Starbucks and McDonald’s, two of the world’s largest fast food chains, have come together to develop a cup made of sustainable materials. As the food industry has found itself facing increasing pressure to reduce the use of plastic in packaging and straws, McDonald’s has reportedly joined Starbucks and Closed Loop Partners to develop a cup that is recyclable and compostable and is suited for mass production.

Incidentally, in March 2018, Starbucks and Closed Loop together launched the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge. Entrepreneurs, experts and innovators were invited to submit their plans in the program. Based on the same, NextGen now plans to focus on the creation of hot and cold cups from fiber-based material after which it will seek solutions for lids and straws.

McDonald’s has invested $5 million in the NextGen partnership, similar to the capital pledged by Starbucks. Marion Gross, Senior VP, McDonald’s, USA said in a statement that the fast food chain is committed to making changes that that can positively impact the planet and communities the company serves.

It has been estimated by the brands that more than 600 billion cups find their way to landfills every year. Seattle has already passed a ban on the use of plastic straws, cocktail picks and utensils, thus setting into motion Starbucks’ intention to eliminate single use straws from all its cafes across the globe by 2020. The company uses plastic lids for some of its cold foam topped beverages such as Nitro Cold Brew.

Apparently, Single use plastic will also be banned in the UK from next year, motivating global companies to seek sustainable alternatives. McDonald’s will be starting a phased rollout of paper straws in Ireland and UK from September.

Colleen Chapman, VP of global social impact, Starbucks said in a statement that a cup made of sustainable materials will benefit the entire industry and others should join in the efforts to develop one.