Your Starbucks Cups Are Going To Look Different Soon

Those who go to Starbucks on a regular basis aren’t immune to a pretty consistent amount of changes. While the basic menu has been around since basically forever (think classics like the Vanilla Latte and Caramel Macchiato), there are a lot of other drinks that come and go with the seasons: Pumpkin Spice Lattes in the fall, Peppermint Mocha in the winter, and so on. Then there are the limited-edition Starbucks speciality drinks that pop up every few months (who could ever forget the Unicorn Frappuccino?) and only last for a very short time. There are also seasonal bakery treats that change throughout the year and snacks that seem to come and go.

But one thing that hasn’t changed in Starbucks for a very long time are the cups.

When you think of Starbucks, even if you don’t go there at all, you can probably picture their cups perfectly: white with the famous green mermaid logo. Sure, sometimes they get a fun and festive holiday design to go with whatever celebration is coming up. The coffee chain did change the mermaid logo in 2011 (it used to say “Starbucks Coffee” — do you remember?), but besides that, no big permanent transformations were made.

Until now… maybe.

According to sources, the Starbucks cups are going to look different soon, and we’re not sure how we feel about it. This hasn’t been confirmed by Starbucks, so who knows about the validity of this news. Still, it’s weird to think about even the notion of Starbucks totally revamping their iconic cups.

So, these old cups? Yeah, they might have a different look to them soon.

According to TODAY, that is. Apparently, Starbucks (along with other fast food brands like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and Wendy’s) has partnered with the NextGen Consortium, an investment platform for sustainable consumer goods, to think of a new design that will make their cups better for the environment.

So the change, if there is one, is for a good cause.

Basically, Starbucks has teamed up with McDonald’s to make a totally recyclable, compostable cup, which we actually knew about back in July 2018.

Food + Wine points out that Starbucks cups are technically recyclable as they are now, but they usually don’t make it into the appropriate bin because of things like the straw and the lid.

To do this, Starbucks launched the NextGen Cup Challenge back in September.

The contest encouraged businesses of all kinds to contribute their ideas for eco-friendly cups. Flash forward to today, and 12 finalists have been chosen.

According to a Starbucks press release, the entries aimed “to push the boundaries of sustainable design and find innovative cup solutions.”

Each one offers one of three solutions: one group made cup liners that are easier to recycle, one focused on new materials like plant-based substances, and another put their work into a reusable cup.

The business with the best idea will receive $1 million in funding to develop the concept and work with Starbucks and McDonald’s to get the cup available in stores.


While 12 winners have been chosen, we still don’t know what the new Starbucks cup will be.

One of the winning cups is called the Mushroom Cup, and it’s a compostable cup grown into shape using mushrooms.

It’s coated with cellulose acetate, which is a biodegradable plastic.

Another is the CupClub, the world’s first returnable cup ecosystem that replaces the 100 billion single-use cups and lids used globally every year.

Customers can return their cups to the nearest CupClub drop point when they’re done.

Yet another one is the ReCup, a sustainable alternative to disposable cups.

You can rent your cup for a deposit whenever you’re getting your drink, and when you return it to any participating shop (it doesn’t have to be the same one), you get your deposit back.

The Game Changer is another finalist.

It is a plastic-free, recyclable, compostable cup that can be processed into cups at existing machines. It was made in Finland.

Maybe the new Starbucks cups will look like one of those? Who knows!

This isn’t the first time Starbucks has tried to be more environmentally friendly. Back in July, the company announced it would be getting rid of their green straws.

Instead, customers would use sippy cup lids for some of the drinks.

They also announced plans to put a lot of money into 10,000 eco-friendly “Greener Stores.”

These would be LEED-certified and they would be developing technology and practices to use 25 percent less power and 30 percent less water.

We can’t help but wonder what other changes they’ll have in store for us soon enough.

There’s bound to be some!

Until then, we’ll just keep wondering what the new cups will look like.

Who knows which design will win out?!

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