When we started serving drinks in the mid-1980s, most coffee to-go came from diners and convenience stores in styrofoam cups. By the time we began serving espresso beverages in 1987, we had rolled out disposable paper cups, setting a new coffeehouse standard.
Though our cups became iconic, they were also wasteful – so we partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund to find ways to reduce our impact. We introduced a hot cup sleeve in 1997 to replace double cupping. We were first in the retail industry to include post-consumer fiber in our hot cups in 2006, and we debuted a cup lid that can be more widely recycled in 2017. We continue to advocate for increased infrastructure to enable our cups to be recycled in more communities.
We’ve come a long way, but there’s still more to do as we work toward a planet-positive future: We’re aiming to double the recycled content in our cups, and we’ve invested $10 million to launch the NextGen Cup Challenge, a global effort to allow cups around the world to be diverted from landfills and composted or given a second life.