Starbucks prides itself as an environmentally mindful business. Recently, the company announced its goal of bringing down its carbon footprint a full fifty percent by 2030.
So you may be wondering whether you can recycle Starbucks cups, especially considering the company’s dedication to sustainability. This article will discuss if Starbucks cups can be recycled in 2022.
Can You Recycle Starbucks Cups in 2022?
As of 2022, Starbucks cups can be recycled, but only in certain recycling facilities that aren’t widely available. As a result, billions of Starbucks cups of all different drink sizes wind up in incinerators or landfills every year.
So, along with other big names, the company is looking for alternative green cups and experimenting with recyclable and easily compostable cups.
Starbucks has looked at the cup problem from all angles in the last thirty years. The company has worked with suppliers and rivals, held innovation contests, and rallied the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) experts.
It has made extensive commitments, but unfortunately, it is yet to find the holy grail of recyclable cups. That’s because redesigning a paper cup and making it recyclable or compostable is nearly impossible.
What Makes Up A Starbucks Coffee Cup?
It’s challenging to recycle Starbucks cups because paper cups often have a thin plastic lining that prevents the drink from leaking.
Starbucks cups’ materials make it daunting to recycle them in a standard recycling facility because the plastic lining and paper need to be separated first. However, both become recyclable after performing that process.
Unfortunately, recycling centers that can perform this complicated operation aren’t widely available. For instance, suitable recycling facilities in the United States exist only in a few places, including New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin.
Are Starbucks Coffee Cups Compostable?
Sadly, Starbucks coffee cups aren’t composable because they have plastic linings inside to prevent the coffee from leaking.
In 2018, the coffee giant and other big-name companies came together to create a partnership with Closed Loop Partners and joined the NextGen Cup Challenge.
The competition aimed to crowdsource eco-friendly cups for use across the globe to minimize the problems that stem from throwing away single-use cups.
Some ideas suggested in the competition were cups that could be reused, recycled, or composted. However, as of 2022, these cups haven’t been introduced.
Are Starbucks Cups Reusable?
In 2021, the company introduced reusable personal cups in the United States. That means you can bring your clean reusable cup to a Starbucks store when you order your coffee.
Then, the barista will ensure the cup is clean before filling it with the drink you ordered. Unfortunately, reusable Starbucks cups aren’t available at drive-throughs.
In addition, Starbucks will donate one dollar to the Ocean Conservancy every time a customer uses their reusable cup, up to one million dollars total.
While you can recycle Starbucks cups, that can only happen in special recycling centers available in a few states. However, Starbucks has been working hard to introduce recyclable and compostable cups across its stores.
For now, you can use reusable coffee cups to order coffee from Starbucks. Keep in mind; you’ll need to make your order inside a Starbucks store, not at a drive-through, to use this method.
If you have more questions when it comes to Starbucks coffee, check out our other articles where we cover topics such as showing you how to order at Starbucks like a regular, along with answering other questions such as, “Can you microwave Starbucks cups?” Click the links to read more!