Starbucks' USD 10 million public challenge to develop more recyclable coffee cups

More news from Starbucks: after years of trying to engineer a more environmentally friendly coffee cup, Starbucks is turning to its customers for ideas, and it’s willing to pay. The company has announced it’s launching a USD 10 million grant challenge to solicit designs for a cup that’s easier to recycle. Starbucks has partnered with a recycling-focused investor group Closed Loop Partners for the project.

The coffee chain has been working on the coffee cup issue for some time, without much result: in 2008, Starbucks set several aggressive goals to reduce its environmental impact. In 2010 it pledged to ensure that 100% of its cups would be reusable or recyclable by 2015 — which obviously did not happen. Its current cups are made with just 10% post-consumer recycled fiber, and they’re only recycled in cities with the “appropriate infrastructure” including Seattle, San Francisco, New York, and Washington, DC. More at CNN.