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November 03, 2007



Our BYOC change was hard but we are almost there. 90% of our mornings start with homebrewed fair trade coffee thanks to our new habit of setting the pot up the night before. If we do hit Starbucks cupless, we focus on recycling the sleeve. Thanks for the info!


Another side effect of petroleum lined paper cups is the fact that if you need to heat your coffee up in the microwave it is also melting the plastic lining into your beverage.
There are new cups on the market now that use Soy lining. I hope Starbucks hurries up and makes the switch.

Michael Lee

I hope the BYOC actually come out to play in our society and also charging 10 cents or more per cup. That way more residents will recognize how important it is not to throw away carelessly and understand all earthly habits are connected to pollutions.
Thank you for your endeavors.

jeff epstein

The ecotainer cup is not as strong of a solution as it seems on the surface... Tully's could do it because they have a regional relationship with a composter willing to take the cups.... but for a company like Starbucks with a footprint of stores all over, it is challenging because it requires composting facilities not available everywhere, composters willing to pick up the stuff (and the fossil fuels and labor expended in doing so)... otherwise the cups still go to the landfill where they don't biodegrade. Also the use of corn crops has had serious reverberating effects on food prices as well as dairy, and the ecotainer does not utilize any recycled content... I'm in the beverage industry and I study this stuff, and you are right that the easiest solution is the use of mugs in store and people bringing their own...


Thank you for this info I am always wondering if I should recycle them as my other paper trash but I noticed the plastic and decided not to without knowing for sure, thanks to make me sure!
They definitely need to find a solution I hurt to think how many cups are thrown away each day!


thanks for this! it was very informative. I'm doing a bit of an independant study on coffee companies and found this very helpful.


Thanks for the article! I was holding on to a few cups before finding this post. Just a little add on - the plastic top can be recycled and the cardboard sleeve can be recycled. Still not the best, but let's at least recycle what we can when we forget to BYOC.


I pay only 55 cents for refills by taking in my non-recyclable Starbucks paper cup. Why would I BYOC and only get a meager 10 cent discount on my refill? Having said that - it's total BS for Starbucks not to have a recyclable cup - per Rockstar, at least get the new lid and the sleeve in the recycling.


Thank you for this article! I myself, being both a fan of Starbucks and of the environment, have wondered frustratingly what for the sign at the recycling station asks not to dispose of the cups there... now I know. And following a news report on B.C.'s Dave Korzinski's boycott against Tim Hortons' Roll Up the Rim contest, I've decided to write an argumentative essay on such issues for an english class. This article has been very useful for that and also for the eco-friendly solution suggested: BYOC! FTW! :)


Ran across your post while checking whether such cups can go in our composter.

Well, 2012 is almost over and Starbucks has failed to keep their pledge. Not exactly a surprise from Corporate America, the new Evil Empire.

On their website they use weasel words like "do more," "build momentum," and "progress." In other words...there's a little handwaving going on but no actual results. Yeah, I thought so.


Googling "Why aren't Starbucks paper cups recyclable?" just now brought me to this page. My curiosity was piqued when I tossed the paper sack my scone came in, into the recycle bin of a dual waste container a few minutes ago. The container had some icons displayed on top showing what you could and couldn't recycle. The paper cup having the "no-no" symbol over it completely mystified me. Now I know why it was there. Will start doing the dime discount by bringing in my own cup from now on.

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