Help us Develop a More Recyclable Coffee Cup – Join the Beta Cup Challenge

As you may know, we have set aggressive goals around making our cups recyclable by 2012, and getting recycling into our stores by 2015.  We’ve made some good progress, with recycling now available in our stores in Toronto, San Francisco, and (soon) Seattle for our cups and other packaging.  We’ve also held a Cup Summit to bring key players in the cup supply chain together to help drive this because, well, the more brains we have thinking about the problem, the better.  So we’ve now found a way to get even more brains involved – the Beta Cup Challenge.

Starbucks is sponsoring this contest to develop a more recyclable coffee cup, working with Colaboratorie Mutopo, who run the Beta Cup Challenge.  This online contest invites entrepreneurs, designers, everyday folks and mad scientists to submit concepts and ideas, to be reviewed collaboratively on the Beta Cup website –  Anyone can submit an idea on how to reduce paper cup consumption and promote adoption of environmentally-friendly alternatives. Ideas will be open to the public for discussion, and community members and jurors will be able to provide feedback, allowing collaborators to refine and update their submissions through June 15, when the contest comes to a close.

Starbucks has provided $20,000 in cash prizes to be awarded for the most innovative ideas. The participant who submits the best idea, determined by an expert panel, will receive a $10,000 cash prize. In addition, participants whose ideas are among the top five selected by the community of collaborators will each be awarded a $2,000 cash prize.  The competition starts on April 1, 2010 and ends on June 15.  "We believe in harnessing the creativity of environmentally conscious individuals to identify new alternatives," says Jim Hanna, Starbucks director of Environmental Impact.  So visit, register, and be part of the solution.

4/4/2010 5:32 PM

while your stores have a lovely look to them, i visit various stores 5x a week and look at them like the businessman i am...the problem in all of them is the acoustics...everything from floor to walls to ceiling is hard so all the noises bounce off the walls very hard and create very sharp and hard noises to the ears......come into a busy store while you are making your frappachinos and the sharpness of sounds can cause some serious dis comfort...i have had friends and people comment about it and as a sbux stock holder and good customer i find its not what i want to hear from others or noises to my would not take much to have your stores sound more like ones home...just a thought

4/7/2010 4:22 AM

You can get compostable cups at WORLDCENTRIC.ORG as well as compostable utensils... ITS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE GUYS.

the sleeves can be made of the seeded cardboard as well.

I am really surprised its taken Starbucks so long to get on board with such a hot social topic.

4/11/2010 1:02 PM

I back the compostable cups idea

Cam M
4/12/2010 9:44 PM

Starbucks should encourage people to bring their own coffee mug and give them a discount if they do.  Currently, your 10 cents discount is insufficient to make any changes.  Starbucks in other countries serves coffee in a ceramic coffee mugs if the customers drink their coffee in the store.  That would save a large amount of paper cups.

4/14/2010 8:53 AM

Betacup ideas are coming in.  Go on and rate your favorite.

4/15/2010 7:17 AM

Why not just put recycling containers in the stores??? I like the idea of more eco-friendly but your cups are recyclable as is... let's get some bins in the stores.  You could even look into something similar to Coca-Cola and start making things from recycled Starbucks cups.

4/15/2010 8:21 PM

Offer a greater discount (like 25 or 50 cents) for bringing in your own cup.  I'm sure lots of people brought in their own cup for the free coffee today.

4/16/2010 12:29 PM

She already explained in an earlier post about why recycling in stores is hard to do consistently across all the stores (lack of commercial vendors to pick it up, local regulations, mall operator rules etc).

I started using a reusable mug recently. Will be really curious to see the out come of the "betacup" - please post the winners etc.  

6/3/2010 10:03 AM

Use COMPOSTABLE cups!  Even though I'm a Seattle native and have been loyal to Starbucks for years, I make a point to go to other local coffee shops that use compostable cups.  

As someone already mentioned, this is not rocket science.  Step it up already before you lose me as a customer forever.

Here's a link to one such cup.  Plenty of others out there though.

Name of the blog
12/2/2010 5:39 PM

Used Paper Cups Become New Again

Name of the blog
12/2/2010 5:42 PM

Used Paper Cups Become New Again

2/14/2011 10:38 AM

Your focus is on recycling, when it should be on reducing first, recycling second.  Composting isn't better than recycling- it adds nothing beneficial to the compost.  Recycling does give it another life, sure, but only so many.  And the fact is that cup didn't need a life to begin with!!!  I would love to see a bigger cup discount and a better campaign geared towards using your own cups.  Tell people to get on board!!! It's as much their job as yours!

11/2/2012 7:45 AM

I see a lot of people come in and drink their coffee in the store... why not assume walk-in's are staying and give them a for-here cup unless they ask for a paper one?

11/2/2012 7:46 AM

I see a lot of people come in and drink their coffee in the store... why not assume walk-in's are staying and give them a for-here cup unless they ask for a paper one?

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