In a move that has been brewing for nearly a decade, Dunkin' Donuts announced that it will switch to double-walled paper cups by 2020, which the company says will remove 1 billion coffee-stained foam cups from the world's landfills every year.
The Canton, Mass., company is following in the well-trodden path of other fast-food giants hoping to convince consumers that they are environmentally conscious places to spend at.
Can any caffeine-related move be without risk for a company whose 9,000 U.S. stores are heavily invested in the quick-cup-of-coffee business? The company's logo, after all, is not a Boston cream doughnut or glaze-stained fingers. It is a steaming cup of coffee.
"We have a responsibility to improve our packaging, making it better for the planet while still meeting the needs of our guests," Karen Raskopf, chief communications and sustainability officer for the company said in a statement detailing the changes.
"Transitioning away from foam has been a critical goal for Dunkin' Donuts U.S., and with the double-walled cup, we will be able to offer a replacement that meets the needs and expectations of both our customers and the communities we serve."
The company also is trying to help franchisees build sustainable, energy-efficient buildings. There are food changes, too: coffee beans certified by the Rainforest Alliance, cage-free eggs and crate-free pork.
Another coffee competitor, McDonald's, said last month that it would use only recycled or other environmentally friendly materials for its soda cups, Happy Meal boxes and other packaging by 2025. McDonald's move came nearly 30 years after the company ditched polystyrene packaging critics said clogged landfills, depleted the ozone layer and became a symbol of a throwaway society, according to The Washington Post's Paul Farhi.
Modern foam cups are not exactly winning any green product awards. Because of their slow decomposition they end up in oceans and can harm marine life and other animals that swallow it, according to The Associated Press. There has been a push to ban their use.
Business on 02/08/2018
Print Headline: Dunkin' Dunkins going to paper cups