Starbucks commits $10 million for greener coffee cup

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SEATTLE -- Starbucks is making a $10 million commitment to develop a greener coffee cup that is fully recyclable and compostable.

The company on Tuesday announced the NextGen Cup Challenge initiative in partnership with Closed Loop Partners' Center for the Circular Economy. The goal is to give cups a second life and keep them from landfills.

Inventors will receive grants.

Starbucks says its paper cups are currently manufactured with 10 percent post-consumer recycled fiber. The inside is coated with a thin liner designed to meet quality and safety standards.

The company's research and development team is testing a new bio-liner, made partially from plant-based material.

“We want to make sure this technology is available to everyone because it’s the right thing to do,” said Andy Corlett, director of packaging R&D for Starbucks. “The idea of environmental sustainability in packaging is not just a Starbucks issue. It’s a global issue. Anything that gets us closer to that goal is not something we want to keep to ourselves.”

Starbucks annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday features a coffee tasting featuring small sample cups that are fully recyclable in Seattle.

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