We need a Better Coffee Cup

The World Needs a Better Coffee Cup That Doesn’t Harm Forests or Clog Landfills

Each year, over 54 billion disposable paper coffee cups are used each year. Nearly all of these cups end up in landfills where they break down and emit greenhouse gases. Over 10 million trees are cut down are cut down for single-use coffee cups.

After more than two years of campaigning by groups like Stand.earth, Starbucks, the world's largest coffee chain, announced it was partnering with McDonalds to create a #BetterCup by 2021.

Coffee retailers have a unique opportunity to meet or beat Starbucks’ environmental leadership. We're calling on them to commit to:

  1. Reducing Disposable Cup Consumption by meeting or exceeding Starbucks’ commitment to serve 5% of coffee in reusable cups by establishing a new pricing scheme (financial reward or disincentive or both) that motivates customers to use reusable cups.

  2. Advancing a Universally Recyclable Cup and Working to Ensure Cups Get Recycled by adopting the use of a universally recyclable coffee cup that is not lined with 100% polyethylene plastic and through establishing in-store cup recycling programs and pushing for expanded cup recycling nationally.

  3. Using Recycled Fiber in Cups at a level that meets or beats Starbucks’ April 2017 commitment to switch to a 20% post-consumer recycled fiber paper cup within 3 years.

  4. Ensuring Wood Used in Paper Cups is Responsibly Sourced through developing a forest protection procurement policy, supply-chain tracking and the use of FSC certification – the most credible forest certification system in the world.

Single-use paper coffee cups have a significant and growing environmental footprint, and increasing numbers of consumers are bothered by their wasteful use. Companies refusing to take action put their brand at risk (or: expose their brand to controversy), while those taking leadership stand to distinguish themselves from the competition. This is why Stand has been campaigning to reduce the footprint of paper coffee cups across the retail coffee industry since 2016.