Canadian Plastics

Starbucks plans to move away from single-use packaging

In a public letter from its CEO, the coffee chain said it wants to shift away from single-use packaging to reusable cups and utensils.

January 22, 2020   Canadian Plastics

The Starbucks coffee chain wants to shift away from single-use packaging to reusable cups and utensils, as well as expand its plant-based menu options.

The move is part of Starbucks’ plan to slash its carbon emissions, water use, and waste sent to landfills by 50 per cent by 2030, part of what CEO Kevin Johnson describes as the Seattle, Wash.-based coffee chain’s goal to become “resource positive.”

In a public letter on Jan. 21, Johnson said the company aspires to store more carbon than it emits, eliminate waste, and provide more clean water than it uses. He said the environmental commitment – the company’s largest to date – will require expanding plant-based menu options, shifting from single-use to reusable packaging, and investing in reforestation, among other strategies.

“By embracing a longer-term economic, equitable and planetary value proposition for our company, we will create greater value for all stakeholders,” Johnson wrote.


This is the latest move in this direction by Starbucks : the coffee chain pledged two years ago to eliminate all plastic straws by 2020. Last summer, it introduced a strawless lid for its iced drinks in Canada and the U.S. Starbucks has also promised to develop 100 per cent compostable and recyclable cups by 2022; the company is part of the NextGen Consortium – a group of companies that includes McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Nestle – which is testing green cup technologies.

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