Dunkin’ Group Moves Forward with New Paper Cups, Adds Recyclable Lids


(Credit: Dunkin’)

Dunkin’ Brands Group says it is on track to meet its significant sustainability goal: the elimination of polystyrene foam cups in its global supply chain by mid-2020. The company, parent of Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins, has already begun rolling out double-walled paper cups for all hot beverages. Dunkin’ says the new cups offer heat retention properties that are equal to the foam cup the stores are well-known for.

The transition to paper is expected to remove about a billion foam cups from the waste stream annually. However, the recyclability of the paper cup – as with any paper cup with a poly lining – will vary significantly by city, state and municipality and is based on the recycling services that are offered, Dunkin’ told Environmental Leader last year.

Dunkin’ also told us last year that the new, double-walled paper cups were having mixed results with customers because people did not like the lid. Now, the company says it has successfully tested a new hot coffee cup lid made of #5 polypropylene that can be recycled in cities and towns that offer #5 recycling, and that it will be rolled out in 100% of US stores by the middle of next year.

Other sustainability efforts from Dunkin’ Brands include signing a five-year agreement with World Coffee Research (WCR), a nonprofit collaborative research and development program of the global coffee industry, and joining the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, a collaborative effort among companies, governments, NGOs, research institutions and others dedicated to making coffee the world’s first fully sustainable agricultural product. The company says that 30% of its dark roast coffee comes from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.

The company is also moving forward on its effort to build more sustainable and energy-efficient restaurants (dubbed DD Green Achievement). With more than 340 certified DD Green Achievement shops as of May 2019, Dunkin’ is on track to meet its stated goal of opening 500 DD Green Achievement restaurants by the end of 2020, the company says.

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