Compostable Cup Could Solve Starbucks’ Cup Woes

Repurpose Compostables Cup

Since 2009 the team behind Repurpose Compostables has been selling compostable food service products to businesses and consumers. But they may have just had a major breakthrough. As we know, companies such as Starbucks have been researching ways to green their coffee cups for quite some time now. Well perhaps Starbucks should take some notes while reading this story.

This week Repurpose Compostables announced the debut of their One Cup which, according to the press release, “requires no sleeve, uses 65% less CO2 than a traditional cup to produce, and can be composted in 90 days.” And to take it one step further, this 100% certified compostable cup is also made with FSC-certified paper.

Traditional insulated cups are made by adding additional layers of paper, but the Repurpose One Cup does the same with a patented insulation material, which is actually on a single wall cup. Made with an Ingeo resin-based lining, this eliminates the need for those wasteful sleeves or even double cupping, as we’ve seen many people in coffee shops ask for. Seriously!

So a one product solution that’s made from renewable resources and it’s compostable? That’s right. And apparently affordable, too. But don’t go throwing this product into your backyard. While the One Cup can’t compost in your own compost pile it can however be composted in an appropriate industrial composting facility.

The One Cup is designed to keep hot beverages warmer for longer and prevents heat from escaping. The lid for the top is compostable as well. Other products that Repurpose makes include: Cold Cups & Lids, Straws, Taster Cups, Sushi Containers, and utensils.

Kara is 3p's writer from New England. In her Newport, RI community, Kara is the organizer of Green Drinks Newport, is a member of Newport's Energy & Environment Commission, is a volunteer for the Neighborhood Energy Challenge, Norman Bird Sanctuary, and has also volunteered as a panelist for Rhode Island Farmways, speaking to farmers from around the state about how they can better market and promote their businesses. Beyond the moat that surrounds her island home, Kara has backpacked Mt. Washington in New Hampshire too many times to count and she hopes her next adventure will be to ski the gnarly Tuckerman's Ravine. Kara is a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club, a graduate of the Colorado Outward Bound School and in real life, she is a public relations director who'd just plain like to see the world a greener place. Kara has been writing for since January 2005 and began writing for 3p in January 2010.

3 responses

  1. I am pleased that Starbucks is making moves to be more green, especially when more than 2.3 billion non-recyclable paper to-go Starbucks cups are purchased every year. However, if these compostable cups end up in regular trash cans, they will still end up in a landfill, which does us no good in diverting waste from landfill, and also prevents the cups from composting. Starbucks needs to pair this change with appropriate collections bins in each store for this compostable to-go ware and an education campaign that lets consumers know these cups can NOT go in normal trashcans, and instead should be discarded at any Starbucks in the appropriate bin, that is then sent to the industrial composting center. This system will certainly increase the waste Starbucks has to manage, but if they are serious about being green, it’s the only way. Otherwise, this is just more corporate greenwashing.

    1. Starbucks is already working on a similar cup and has been for a couple of years. And there are other 100% compostable hot cups on the market for several years now. This product is nothing new. In fact late to the party.

  2. As someone involved in the foodservice and restaurant world, I can tell you that this cup stands out from the other green cups out there – I have tried to get away from sleeves and double cupping and this is the first compostable cup out there that is insulated AND solves the problem of sleeves and double cupping! I would also much prefer a cup to be lined with plant based material than petroleum – and one that takes less than half the energy to produce. Even if it goes to landfill it’s a much preferred alternative to what’s out there. This is the greenest cup i’ve come across yet.

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