CROSS PLAINS, Wis. — Starbucks is making strides in reducing plastic waste by introducing a new cold drink cup made with less plastic. 

What You Need To Know

  • Starbucks recently announced it has reduced plastic waste with a new cold drink cup made with less plastic
  • Plastic Ingenuity collaborated with Starbucks to create innovative strawless lids, enhancing the coffee giant's sustainability efforts
  • Plastic Ingenuity's engineers perfected the sip opening and the snap mechanism for the lids
  • Starbucks and Plastic Ingenuity are exploring recycled and environmentally sound plastics for future lid iterations

The initiative, combined with Wisconsin based Plastic Ingenuity’s inventive lid designs, aims to increase sustainability.

Zach Muscato, Plastic Ingenuity’s corporate sustainability officer, said he was proud of the company’s collaboration with Starbucks. He highlighted the meticulous process behind creating environmentally friendly lids. 

“Really came to fruition really gained momentum when they (Starbucks) started to put more focus and goals behind eliminating straws,” Muscato said.

The collaboration didn’t just focus on functionality; Starbucks sought lids that would also enhance the overall consumer experience. This led to the development of strawless lids with an audible snap feature for a secure fit.

In 2018, behind the scenes, Plastic Ingenuity’s engineers worked tirelessly to perfect the sip opening and snap mechanism, resulting in multiple strawless lid styles.

“We aimed to preserve spill-proof gulp-ability and enhance the consumer experience,” Muscato said.

Starbucks’ dedication to sustainability extends beyond its partnership with Plastic Ingenuity. Muscato’s team is currently exploring recycled and environmentally sound plastics for future lid iterations.

“We today, we make it (plastic) mostly from oil and gas, but in the future that will be soybeans. It’ll be corn and it’ll be sugar cane. It’ll be any biomass really,” Muscato said.

Katie Rizzo-Pitts, also from Plastic Ingenuity, emphasized the challenges and triumphs of the company’s work, expressing optimism for a greener future.

“Yeah, it’s not always easy working in a plastics company. You have a lot going against you, but I think we’re doing a lot right. We still have a lot of work to do, but we are certainly on the path,” Rizzo-Pitts said.

For more information about Plastic Ingenuity’s projects, visit Plastic Ingenuity’s Starbucks Strawless Lid Customer Story.

For details on Starbucks’ reduction in plastic cups, visit Starbucks’ Cold Drink Cup Made with Less Plastic.