In New York, Starbucks and McDonald’s are teaming up to build a fully recyclable, compostable cup, lid and straw in the next three years. They both joined the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge, convened by Closed Loop Partners, in order to find a cup solution. McDonald’s is committing $5 million towards the initiative which begins in September and is now inviting innovators, entrepreneurs, industry experts and recyclers to submit their ideas for the next generation of recyclable and/or compostable cups. According to Fast Company, “winners will receive acceleration funding up to $1 million based on key milestones, and up to seven of will enter a six-month accelerator program to help scale their solutions.”
Starbucks recently announced a new lid to replace straws by 2020. Together, McDonald’s and Starbucks distribute a combined 4% of the world’s 600 billion cups each year, according to Fast Company, and are rarely recycled. The biggest challenge will be to create a fiber-based hot and cold cup.