, plastic pollution coalition respond to Starbucks pledge on recyclable, compostable cup

March 20, 2018

One day before its annual shareholder meeting, coffee giant Starbucks has announced it will commit $10 million in a partnership to bring a fully recyclable and compostable cup to market in three years

One day before its annual shareholder meeting, coffee giant Starbucks has announced it will commit $10 million in a partnership to bring a fully recyclable and compostable cup to market in three years.

In response, — the group behind the #BetterCup campaign calling on Starbucks to follow through on its 2008 pledge to make a 100% recyclable cup — and the “Starbucks: Break Free From Plastic” global plastic pollution coalition issue the following statements:

“Starbucks today agreed to solve its 4 billion disposable cups per year problem, putting it on the right side of history for forests and climate — we think. This is the third such commitment Starbucks has made — and if they follow through, it will change the impact of its cups and the worldwide cup market.” -Todd Paglia, Executive Director,

“Because this is their third commitment, needs more details from Starbucks about its pledge — before the #BetterCup campaign moves on to Costa, McDonald’s, Peet’s and other companies who need motivation for change.” -Todd Paglia, Executive Director,

In March, more than a dozen leading organizations launched “Starbucks: Break Free From Plastic” — a global coalition demanding that Starbucks take accountability for its contribution to the growing plastic pollution crisis. So far, more than 889,000 people have joined the campaign.

“Starbucks plastic pollution problem goes beyond its paper cup. The “Starbucks: Break Free From Plastic” coalition remains committed to pushing Starbucks to increase the amount of reusable cups in stores, as well as reduce its plastic pollution by eliminating other single-use plastic items like straws, cutlery, and other plastic packaging.” -Emily DiFrisco, Plastic Pollution Coalition

“It is great the Starbucks recognizes the problem of its disposable cup. Blaming city recycling systems for not accepting their trash is asking taxpayers to clean up their mess. We need real accountability by Starbucks on moving past the throw away society and embracing a plastic pollution free world.” -Jamie Rhodes, UPSTREAM

“Our global plastic pollution problem is at a tipping point, and today Starbucks took a step in the right direction for its paper cups. For the sake of our oceans, Starbucks must deal with its plastic cups and straws as well.” -Ross Hammond, U.S. Campaigns Director,

The campaign is calling on Starbucks to address its plastic pollution in 5 specific ways: 

  • Create a 100% recyclable paper cup without a plastic lining.
  • Reduce plastic pollution by eliminating single-use plastics like straws.
  • Promote reusable cups and encourage customers to change their habits.
  • Recycle cups and food packaging in all stores worldwide.
  • Report publicly on the type and amount of plastics used in packaging.

The coalition includes 5 Gyres, Care2, Clean Water Action, CREDO,, Greenpeace USA, Plastic Pollution Coalition,, The Story of Stuff Project, SumOfUs, Texas Campaign for the Environment, UPSTREAM, Hannah4Change, Captain Planet Foundation, Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation, Plastik Diet Kantong, Heirs to Our Oceans, Wild at Heart Taiwan, Jack Johnson’s All At Once community, StudentPIRGS, Project Coyote, and a variety of organizations participating under the Break Free From Plastic global movement. 


Media contact: Virginia Cleaveland,,, 510-858-9902