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The coffee giant began using a more environmentally friendly paper cup on Monday at select cafes in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver and London.
The compostable cup is made of biodegradable materials instead of a plastic liner used to avoid leakage. The new cups will also be easier to recycle.
Packaging comprises more than half of the Seattle-based chain’s waste output annually. Starbucks said it aims to reduce that amount by half in the next decade.
More companies are prioritizing waste-free packaging with some giving customers an incentive for bringing their own reusable containers. Just Salad, the fast-casual chain that serves salads, wraps and grain bowls, said it saw a 38 percent increase in reusable bowl purchases last year, with 25 percent of guests already using a reusable bowl when visiting the chain. It had a promotion last spring that gave free toppings to users who bought their own salad bowl.
McDonald’s said it would sustainably source its plastic alternative packaging this year, while Taco Bell parent Yum Brands Inc. said it would make all of its packaging sustainable in the next five years.
More states are prompting consumers to reduce waste. New York's state law banning single-use plastic bags went into effect last week combating the more than 23 billion plastic bags that are used every year. Consumers will now get charged 5 cents for paper bags. States including Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Oregon and Maine have also banned single-use plastic bags.
Some brands are starting to capitalize on a waste-free future starting in the pantry. San Francisco-based company Aplat sells handmade totes made out of organic cotton canvas sans plastic or elastic for carrying casseroles, bread, and wine and storing snacks and sandwiches.
Products range from $50 for a culinary dish tote to $68 for three chambray reusable bowl covers so users can reduce spending on aluminum foil and plastic wrap.