Don’t believe the Starbucks Holiday Cup hype

November 3, 2017

Today, Starbucks released its annual Holiday Cup, with a message encouraging its customers to “Give Good” to others this holiday season.  

But here at, we’re not buying their marketing hype. 

How can the coffee giant possibly follow through on its own dazzling Holiday Cup PR sideshow, when the company itself sends more than 4 billion cups to the landfill every year? That’s a lot of waste — and a lot of forests being destroyed for single-use cups.

Starbucks made over $12 billion in profit last year, so we know it can afford to invest in developing a better cup.

Starbucks, we think you’re working with more of a “Do Bad” to forests than a “Give Good” to others type of message. With the amount of trash you contribute to landfills each year, you don’t deserve much more than lumps of coal in your stocking come December.

Did you know: In 2008, Starbucks promised to make a 100% recyclable paper cup, recognizing that its iconic grab-n-go container was also its biggest environmental liability? Spoiler alert: The cups aren’t recyclable in most cities due to the plastic lining, even though most consumers think they are. 

Fast forward to 2017 — and Starbucks is nowhere near launching a 100% recyclable cup. 

This holiday season, skip the Holiday Cup. Instead, join our Better Cup campaign calling on Starbucks to live up to its broken promises. 

“Give Good” to the Earth — push back against the hype.’s 2017 report, “Trashed: The Secret of the Starbucks Cup”, explains how Starbucks cups cannot be processed in most recycling facilities because of their plastic lining. Instead, most of the 4+ billion cups Starbucks serves annually end up in landfills. Starbucks cups are accepted for recycling in some major cities — including Seattle, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. — but the percentage of cups that successfully make it through the entire recycling process remains unclear.

UPDATE: In 2018 Starbucks made a commitment for a #bettercup due to pressure from this campaign and activists across the world. Read more here