The coffee chain Dunkin Donuts is phasing out styrofoam cups in all of its global locations by 2020, the company said in a press release Wednesday.
Select stores in New York and California will receive double paper-walled cups as an alternative this spring and remaining locations will stock these new cups in the months and years ahead.
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The new cups will insulate hot drinks to keep them warm and allow customers to hold their beverages without getting burned, the brand said.
Plus, they’ll be recyclable.
The move is a win for environmentally-conscious customers who have long decried the use of Styrofoam cups, which are not recyclable, take a very long time to decompose, pollute ecosystems, and are made with potential carcinogens.
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“With more than 9,000 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the US alone, our decision to eliminate foam cups is significant for both our brand and our industry,” Karen Raskopf, chief communications and sustainability officer at Dunkin’ Brands, said in the press release.
“We have a responsibility to improve our packaging, making it better for the planet while still meeting the needs of our guests,” she said.
Getting rid of Styrofoam is part of the brand’s larger sustainability efforts, according to the press release.
By the end of the year, the brand wants to meet the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard with its consumer packaging, eliminate dyes from its menu, incorporate energy-efficiency into restaurants, and source more ethical and sustainable coffee.
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This pursuit of sustainability comes at a time when more multinational brands are actively looking for ways to minimize their environmental footprints.
Last year, more than 530 major US corporations signed a pledge to uphold the Paris climate agreement; McDonald’s is seeking to vastly reduce its packaging demands; and the Irish airline Ryanair is working to eliminate plastic from its flights.
Not many major brands continue to use Styrofoam as extensively as Dunkin Donuts. As a result, the Styrofoam cup became symbolic of the coffee and donut brand in recent years for some customers, CNBC suggests.
As a result, whenever the brand has been goaded to get rid of the cups, some loyal Dunkin Donuts customers protested.
I will no longer be a customer. They’ve already made the larges at Rutgers Dunkin’ Donuts paper cups and they’re trash. Just tastes better out of styrofoam. https://t.co/mzdKm1129d— Griffin Whitmer (@GriffinWhitmer) February 7, 2018
This will somehow upset people (like my father) who not only prefer styrofoam cups, but also use them at home for that extra Dunkin Donuts garbage feel. 🤦♀️ https://t.co/Bust7NFHIs— Lauren Burr (@burrlauren) February 7, 2018
Now that the brand is moving beyond this wasteful plastic, hopefully core customers embrace the company’s newfound commitment to sustainability.
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