Starbucks recyclable cups to hit British streets

Recyclable and compostable Starbucks coffee cups will hit the streets of London this week, meeting a promise made a year ago.

The coffee shop giant said that its new paper cup will be trialled at some of its London stores for the next four weeks.

The new cups will look nearly exactly the same as the company’s traditional paper vessels.

They replace the traditional plastic cup lining with a biodegradable material.

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Last week Starbucks paused the use of reusable cups at its stores over coronavirus fears (Ted S Warren/AP)

It is part of a push by Starbucks to make the company more environmentally friendly.

Earlier this year, it announced plans to reduce waste by 50% in the next decade.

The trial is part of the NextGen Cup Challenge, an effort by Starbucks and other food giants, including KFC, Pizza Hut, Coca-Cola and Nestle.

The consortium chose 12 finalists from hundreds of entries from “industry experts and cup scientists” for the new design. It later narrowed this down to one cup which is going to be scaled up for market tests.

London was chosen as the only European city to be part of the global trial. The other cities are Seattle, San Francisco, New York and Vancouver.

In March 2019 the company promised that customers would be trying new recyclable cups “over the next year”.

“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,” chief executive Kevin Johnson said at the time.

He 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.”

The company banned the use of reusable cups in its stores last week over concerns that they could help spread coronavirus.

Customers will still get a 25p discount for bringing in their reusable cups, but will be served a disposable one.

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