Starbucks: Turn used cups into new cups

By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Starbucks may soon serve your morning coffee in a used paper cup that has been recycled into a new paper cup, as the coffee chain aims to ensure that 100% of its cups are reusable or recyclable by 2015.

Starbucks (SBUX, Fortune 500) has been using fiber from recycled office paper for its cups since 2006, but most of its cups end up in the trash after use.

But now the company plans to take its green initiative a step further thanks to Mississippi River Pulp's success in recycling used Starbucks paper cups into fiber suitable for producing new cups during a recent six-week pilot program.

"This innovation represents an important milestone in our journey," said Jim Hanna, Starbucks director of environmental impact. "We still have a lot of work to do to reach our 2015 goal, but we're now in a much stronger position to build momentum across the recycling industry."

Starbucks plans to test the so-called cup-to-cup concept in a major city in 2011 by working with Mississippi River and International Paper (IP, Fortune 500), the largest manufacturer of Starbucks paper cups and a primary driver behind the idea.

"What's really exciting about the cup-to-cup concept is that it has the potential to benefit not only Starbucks, but the entire food service industry, said Greg Wanta, vice president of International Paper's food service business. "If we can continue to prove the value of used cup material generated by Starbucks and other retailers, we can help increase recycling rates in communities across the country."

International Paper's website features photos documenting the process of how the company processed the used paper cups into new cups.

In 2008, Starbucks set several aggressive goals to reduce its environmental impact. Over the past year, the company has introduced front-of-the-store centers in Toronto and Seattle to recycle cups, and in San Francisco, where cups can be composted.

In 86 of its Manhattan stores, the company is collecting paper cups to determine whether they can be recycled into bath tissue and paper towels. In Chicago, Starbucks plans to launch a program to help recycle used paper cups into napkins for the store.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,031.14 43.63 0.26%
Nasdaq 4,518.90 -48.70 -1.07%
S&P 500 1,984.13 -1.41 -0.07%
Treasuries 2.59 -0.02 -0.88%
Data as of 1:14am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.74 -0.05 -0.30%
Yahoo! Inc 42.55 1.29 3.13%
Apple Inc 101.63 0.20 0.20%
Facebook Inc 74.58 -3.34 -4.29%
Microsoft Corp 46.24 -0.46 -0.97%
Data as of Sep 15

Sections

The Radisson hotel chain has suspended its sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings in the wake of child abuse allegations against Adrian Peterson. More

First official government report shows big decrease in uninsured after Obamacare kicks in and more Americans gain health insurance. More

AT&T has developed a software platform that can transcribe and offer near-real-time analysis on customer service calls. More

Atlanta has the country's highest level of income inequality, but civic entrepreneurs can close the gap. Here's how. More

What do all 401K millionaires have in common? Christine Romans explains what it takes to be a member of the club. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.