In Austin, the city prides itself on its progressive attitude towards more sustainable living. The University of Texas at Austin continues this eco-friendly spirit by tackling the amount of food waste created in the dining halls to the bins divided into three parts for trash, recycling, and compost materials.
This is why it's so exciting to hear about Starbucks future plans to have customers use a cup that's 100% recyclable. Hundreds of students at UT stop by local Starbucks on and around campus on a daily basis.
However, students aren't able to recycle these hot beverage cups as easily as others because of the thin layer of plastic coating on the inside.
As of July, "Starbucks announced a $10 million commitment to work with the rest of the industry and bring a fully recyclable and compostable cup to the market within three years," said Coral Garnick from Puget Sound Business Journal.
It's quick to think, 'why don't they just take out the plastic," but if it were that easy there wouldn't be "4 million Starbucks paper cups ending up in landfills every year," according to Stand.earth.
Starbucks had been trying to create a fully recyclable cup back in 2008 by holding "cup summits" that bring in fresh, innovative, and plausible ideas until 2013.
Now, The coffee corporation that held 27,339 stores worldwide in 2017 has begun creating a straw-less lid for select cold drinks and are currently testing paper and plant made straws that will only be provided upon request.
These new lids are already making their first appearances in 8,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada; they won't be fully standardized until later this Fall starting in Seattle and Vancouver.
Although nobody knows how long it will take for Starbucks newly sustainable alternatives to reach Austin, it's something to look forward to as UT itself continues to strive for the goals of its own clean environment initiatives.