QSR Magazine reports that Starbucks’ ambitious goal to have 100 percent of its cups be reusable or recyclable by 2015 may have just gotten much easier. The company announced a successful test with paper cup manufacturer International Paper and pulp mill Mississippi River Pulp that used recycled cups from stores to create new cups.
The six-week pilot test was the result of an idea brewed up at the company’s second Cup Summit, held earlier this year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“Our goal is to find ways for our existing cup to fit into existing recycling systems without the systems having to invest millions of dollars in new capital or new processes or anything like that,” says Jim Hanna, director of environmental impact for Starbucks.
“That’s one of the most exciting parts about this latest milestone, is that we proved that our cups could fit into an existing system at the Mississippi River corporation.”
While several pulp mills around the country can help turn a recycled paper cup into various paper products, like paper towels, napkins, and office paper—Starbucks is doing such tests in Chicago, New York, and Ontario—Mississippi River is the only mill in the country that can turn a cup into a food or beverage packaging product.
“What we have is the unique capability of eliminating the optical brighteners that are typically in the waste paper stream,” says Rob Garland, CEO of Mississippi River, of the mill’s “de-inking” capability. “You have to eliminate those if you want FDA-quality pulp that can go into food and beverage contact uses.”
Read more at: QSR Magazine