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Starbucks Is Offering $10 Million To Come Up With A Compostable Cup Design


Single-use plastic has been singled out as an enormous issue when it comes to unnecessary waste, particularly runoff into ocean waters that damages marine health, and eventually enter our drinking water. A hidden use of plastic many consumers don't consider is the prevalence of single-use paper cups. Many people mistakenly believe the cups they drink their coffee out of are recyclable, but actually, they're lined with a thin layer of plastic to keep them waterproof. Most recycling facilities don't have the bandwidth to remove this plastic lining, and so the cups end up in the regular waste cycle.

Starbucks is working with Closed Loop Partners and its Center for the Circular Economy, an organization that promotes recycling and the development of sustainable consumer goods. In a press release, they cite the statistic that worldwide, 600 billion paper and plastic cups are distributed each year. Starbucks claims their company on counts for one percent of that—but that's still 60,000,000 cups. Annually. However, they are trying to encourage some innovation that might solve the problem.