NEWS AND KNOWLEDGE

Can Single-Use Coffee Cups Improve Sustainability?


This article explores the latest attempts of the industry to address patrons’ concerns about single-use coffee cups as part of their interview with the owners of a growing coffeehouse named Crazy Love, in Roswell, GA. The owner couple recently changed their to-go cup to one that better displays their brand, reduces waste compared to their prior cup (which required the use of a corrugated sleeve,) and is more durable in holding a cup of hot coffee.
 

To put the problem into perspective, the article cites that “globally, more than 250 billion single-use paper cups are produced every year.” And it’s because of realities like these that a range of more sustainable solutions for the single-use coffee cup are being researched and seriously considered by the food service industry.  

These considerations include: 

  • A consortium of Starbucks, McDonalds and a firm named Closed Loop Partners that have cofounded the “NextGen Cup Consortium & Challenge”;  

  • Some smaller chain efforts to return to permanent ware or reusable cup solutions;  

  • New takes on the actual design and post-use handling of the traditional paper hot cup ranging from: 

  • Cup designs that use less material 

  • Cups made from recycled paper fiber, and 

  • Development of local utilities so that more areas can reclaim used coffee cups to be for composting 

On a positive note, premium coffee continues to grow and, with major players focused on the issue, the industry can expect new improvements to make the single-use cup more sustainable.  

Read the full article here.