March 29, 2018 - Recycling Today
APR Member Highlight - Starbucks
Starbucks invests $10M in Closed Loop Fund
Starbucks Coffee Co., Seattle, has announced it has committed $10 million in partnership with the Closed Loop Fund and its Center for the Circular Economy to establish a consortium to launch the NextGen Cup Challenge.
This is the first step in the development of a global end-to-end solution that will allow cups around the world to be diverted from landfills and composted or recycled inti another cup, napkin or a chair—anything that can use recycled material.
Through the NextGen Cup Challenge, the consortium will award accelerator grants to entrepreneurs working on ideas that could lead to the development of more sustainable cup solutions and invite industry participation and partnership on the way to identifying a global solution.
“Our store partners proudly pour sustainably sourced coffee in our 28,000 locations around the world, but everyone wants to take our ability to serve it sustainably to the next level,” says Colleen Chapman, vice president of Starbucks global social impact overseeing sustainability. “No one is satisfied with the incremental industry progress made to date, it’s just not moving fast enough. So today, we are declaring a moon shot for sustainability to work together as an industry to bring a fully recyclable and compostable cup to the market, with a three-year ambition.”
Each year, Starbucks says an estimated 600 billion paper and plastic cups are distributed globally, and though Starbucks cups account for an estimated 1 percent of that total, the company says it is not leaving the problem-solving to others.
“Through this partnership, the Challenge will enable leading innovators and entrepreneurs with financial, technical and expert resources to fast-track global solutions, help get those solutions to shelf, through the recovery system and back into the supply chain,” says Rob Kaplan, managing director of Closed Loop Partners.
Closed Loop Fund, an investment fund that finances scaling recycling infrastructure and sustainable manufacturing technologies that advance the circular economy, is part of the New York-based Closed Loop Partners, which invests in sustainable consumer goods, advanced recycling technologies and the development of the circular economy.
Starbucks recently announced it has joined the Recycling Partnership, the Falls Church, Virginia-based nonprofit that leverages corporate investment to support recycling, as a new funding partner. The company joins Amazon, International Paper and 34 other companies, including Coca-Cola, Target, Pepsico and P&G, to help create more circular economy jobs, more material recovery and stronger, more equitable communities, the nonprofit says.
Learn more about Starbucks on their website.