One can never be sure if the paper cup decorated with green arrows and pictures of trees holding hands with the sun is actually recyclable. Things are not always what they seem, including the current Starbucks disposable hot coffee cup, which is often recycled improperly due to its plastic lining.
Starbucks knows it has a cup problem. After years of development, the coffee giant announced on Monday that it's finally testing a greener prototype cup in select stores across the world. For now, according to the The Wall Street Journal, these cups will only be available at some Starbucks locations in London, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver.
The new design is one of 12 prototypes considered. Starbucks is hoping that baristas and customers will find the prototype just as good at preventing leaks and insulating heat, so feel empowered to complain if that isn't the case. The selected version has a coating made of renewable material that its plastic liner loving customers will hopefully not (bio)degrade.
The news comes at an interesting time in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, which pushed the global coffeehouse chain to temporarily ban the use of personal mugs. By the way, you can still get that 10 cent discount if you bring your mug, but what's better than tossing a finished drink in the blue bin without the environmentalist on your shoulder reminding you of the hidden truth of your paper cup?