Canadian Plastics

Starbucks trials NextGen Cup solution in Vancouver

The cup, which is also being tested in five other cities, features an innovative cup liner made from the bioplastic BioPBS, which makes the cup certified compostable and recyclable.

March 16, 2020   Canadian Plastics

Image Credit: Starbucks

As a culmination of its NextGen Cup Challenge, coffee giant Starbucks has picked Vancouver as one of five North American markets, and the only Canadian city, where it will begin testing new compostable cups.

On Monday, March 9, the Seattle-based company began to circulate a new BioPBS-lined cup at select stores in Vancouver, as well as Seattle, San Francisco, New York, and London.

According to a news release from Starbucks, the tests are designed to provide insights into the partner and customer in-store experience with the goal of no noticeable differences in performance between the new cup and the current cup.

Submitted by Thailand-based PTT MCC Biochem Co. Ltd., the new cup was developed as part of Starbuck’s NextGen Cup Challenge, which aims to reduce single-use packaging waste by developing an industry-wide recyclable and compostable to-go cup solution. The challenge began with a six-month design competition that saw hundreds of ideas from industry experts, before 12 were selected for further testing and then narrowed to the final cup for in-market testing.

In these new prototype cups, the BioBPS liner is melted and spread on to paperboard before being used for the new cups. If successful, the cups could allow Starbucks to move away from traditional plastic cup liners.

BioBPS (bio-based polybutylene succinate) is both a bio-based and biodegradable plastic. Derived from natural resources, such as sugarcane cassava and corn, BioPBS is compostable into biomass, carbon dioxide and water. Products made from BioPBS can be disposed of along with organic waste.


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