Starbucks begins trialling new NextGen cup in London

Starbucks is constantly striving to make its business more and more sustainable, and for the past few years, we’ve been working towards developing a new, more recyclable and compostable coffee cup.

This week, the world’s first market trials will begin on the NextGen cup, taking place at selected Starbucks stores in London, as well as Seattle, New York, San Francisco and Vancouver.

While the NextGen cups will look almost identical to the core cups, the trial versions will instead feature a BioPBS-lining on the interior rather than the usual – and hard to recycle - polyethylene.

Developed in partnership with Closed Loop Partners and the NextGen Consortium, Starbucks has invested $10 million  into the complex global project.

Part of the NextGen Cup Challenge, Starbucks cofounded the activation alongside McDonalds, attempting to address single-use packaging waste by developing an industry-wide recyclable and compostable to-go cup solution.

The trials are designed to provide key insights into the partner and customer experience, with the goal of no noticeable differences in performance between the new cup and current cup.

While this cup trial is an exciting step forward, Starbucks is constantly continuing to explore other cup technologies and NextGen Cup Challenge winning concepts, in order to find the most effective solution for everyone – including partners (employees), customers and the entire coffee industry.

Finding a more sustainable cup solution is part of Starbucks aspiration to be resource positive, giving more than it takes from the planet. As part of this sustainability commitment, Starbucks is focusing on ways to better manage its waste, both in stores and in communities by enabling and encouraging more reuse and recycling through an array of different initiatives.

As well as offering a 25p discount for reusable cups, Starbucks also works with environmental charity Hubbub to fund a variety of new recycling measures, including installing 347 new coffee cup recycling points across the UK. Hubbub claim that the projects have the potential to boost recycling rates by an estimated 35 million paper cups per year.