New Englanders just learned that their football dynasty might not be sustainable. Fortunately, that other beloved regional institution, Dunkin’ Donuts is taking serious steps to a more important sustainability. The coffee and pastry giant announced that they will eliminate all foam cups by the year 2020.
The phasing-out will be a gradual process beginning in the U.S. Domestically, the company has already begun a roll out of double-walled paper cups in the corporation’s Quincy, Mass stronghold. Other American markets will follow. Most of the international stores are already using paper, but the remainder will switch over before the 2020 target.
“With more than 9,000 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the U.S. alone, our decision to eliminate foam cups is significant for both our brand and our industry,” explained Karen Raskopf, Chief Communications and Sustainability Officer for Dunkin’ Brands. “We have a responsibility to improve our packaging, making it better for the planet while still meeting the needs of our guests.”
According to the company, the new double-walled paper cups are made with paperboard certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard. They will be used for all of the brand’s hot beverages and boast the same heat retention levels as the old foam cups. They re-closable lids on the cups will also stay the same.
Dunkin’ Donuts touts a pretty impressive track record on the sustainability front. In fact, the conglomerate committed to bring 80% of their fiber-based consumer-facing packaging in line with Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standards by the end of this year. Labels and menus have already switched to eco-friendly inks. Napkins and bags are already made from 100% recycled materials. Sourcing for eggs and pork is switching to 100% cage-free. And, the coveted coffee, itself, the espresso beans will be 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified by year’s end.
The cup switch is projected to remove one billion cups from the waste stream each year.