McDonald’s And Starbucks Are Teaming Up To Create A Recyclable Cup

mcdonald's and starbucks recyclable cups

In a July 17th McDonald’s Newsroom press release, McDonald’s announced its partnership with Starbucks and Closed Loop Partners to change the way we drink our morning coffee. Through Closed Loop Partners’ sustainability project, NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge, McDonald’s and Starbucks are working together to develop a recyclable and/or compostable cup in an effort to reduce waste.

According to the NextGen Cup website, an estimated 600 billion paper and plastic cups are distributed annually — with most ending up in landfills. NextGen Cup, with support from McDonald’s and Starbucks, invites inventors, industry experts, and entrepreneurs to submit ideas about how a recyclable/compostable cup can become a reality. McDonald’s has committed $5 million to help launch the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge, which will begin in September 2018.

Those with winning ideas will be awarded $1 million in funding “based on key milestones,” the Newsroom announcement states.


“McDonald’s is committed to using our scale for good to make positive changes that impact our planet and the communities we serve,” Marion Gross, senior vice president and chief supply chain officer, McDonald’s USA, said via the Newsroom announcement. “We are excited to join Starbucks and Closed Loop to help solve this pressing challenge as collaboration is key to finding a scalable, lasting global solution.”

A separate McDonald’s Newsroom writeup outlined the goals of the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge as well as how the actual challenge works. The initial goal is to find a recyclable and/or compostable alternative to the traditional “fiber-based” hot and cold cup used in fast food and coffee chains.

“We are proud to come together with industry partners like McDonald’s to drive innovative, scalable solutions for cup waste,” said Colleen Chapman — vice president of global social impact focused on sustainability for Starbucks — via the McDonald’s press release. “A better cup will benefit the entire industry and we invite others to join us as we move these efforts forward.”

Kate Daly, executive director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners, said the team has already received more than 1,000 inquiries about how to get involved with the initiative and challenge.

To learn more about the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge, and McDonald’s and Starbucks’s involvement, head over to the NextGen website. This union could change the way we sip for generations to come.

If you’re looking to minimize you’re carbon footprint, we highly recommend that you grab yourself a reusable water bottle.


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