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McDonald’s and Starbucks partner to develop sustainable cups

The NextGen Consortium founded by McDonalds and Starbucks, has announced the winners of its NextGen Cup Challenge, a competition to redesign the fiber to-go cup and create a widely recyclable or compostable cup.

After a four-month review process by a group of industry judges including NextGen Consortium business leaders, as well as experts in recycling, composting and packaging, the candidates were narrowed down to 12 winners out of the 500 who entered. The 12 winning solutions were categorised into cup liners, new materials and reusable cup service models.

Jaz Rabadia, senior energy and sustainability manager at Starbucks UK, said: “This is an exciting milestone in our ongoing search to find innovative cup solutions that we can all benefit from as an industry. We take our responsibility to reduce the impact we have on the environment seriously.

“For us this forms part of an approach to tackle the issue of paper cup waste through a combination of new paper cup options alongside effective cup recycling infrastructure in and out of our stores as well as making it easy for our customers to choose reuse.”

Marion Gross, senior vice president at McDonald’s, added: “McDonald’s is proud to work with such an unprecedented number of brands to address the issue of fiber to-go cups. Collaboration is what we need to truly move the needle, amplify impact and bring solutions to scale quickly.”

Up to six winners will enter the NextGen Circular Business Accelerator, where they’ll be given access to a network of experts, business and technical resources and testing opportunities to ensure these innovations can successfully scale to serve the needs of the industry and maintain performance standards.

Erin Simon, director of sustainability at the World Wildlife Fund, said: “By working across the entire value chain and engaging key stakeholders, winners of the NextGen Cup Challenge are tackling a complex problem in a holistic way, sending valuable material back into the supply chain, benefiting people, the planet, and businesses.”

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