Food service giants McDonald’s and Starbucks partners towards finding a way to give a new direction to the 600 billion cups distributed globally each year from landfills and give them a second life.
The NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge, convened by Closed Loop Partners, has made an announced that McDonald’s will be joining Starbucks as a founding member of the group in order to develop a global recyclable and/or compostable cup solution. This is an endeavour by both companies to drive innovation of their packaging and help reduce waste.
The challenge has an inception in September and invites innovators, entrepreneurs, industry experts, and recyclers to submit their ideas for the next generation of recyclable and/or compostable cups. Awardees will receive acceleration funding up to $1 million based on key milestones. Up to seven of the awardees will enter a six-month accelerator program to help scale their solutions. NextGen is playing a crucial role in the development of a global end-to-end solution that will allow the 600 billion cups globally to be diverted from landfills and given a second life. NextGen is building a vigorous advisory council, including leaders in environmental NGOs such as World Wildlife Fund as well as human-centered design, academic leaders, the paper and plastics industry, recyclers, composters, and municipalities. This council will ensure that the work is grounded in the needs of the entire value chain and the cups make it from shelf to consumer and back through the recovery system to another high-value use and spotlightt the entire cup system, including cups, lids, and straws, its first challenge will focus on the fiber-based hot and cold cup, as this is the most significant challenge faced by the industry.