Green Buckeye RN

OnEarth: Meet The Change Makers: Starbuck’s Quest for a Better Cup
April 11, 2012, 9:53 am
Filed under: News

By Adam Aston
April 2, 2012

The company that redefined coffee drinking in America is trying to reinvent the way we consume it

Starbucks didn’t invent the disposable coffee cup, but few other brands are as tightly married to their container. From Brooklyn to Bangkok, the Seattle-based roaster’s white cups are instantly identifiable. More than four billion containers crossed the company’s counters last year, and only a small percentage were recycled.   The person charged with finding a way to increase that share is Jim Hanna, Starbucks’s director of environmental impact. He joined the company in 2006 and has tackled a host of issues, from improving coffee farming, harvesting, and processing techniques to greening the chain’s 17,000-plus stores. He has a lot of success to show for those efforts: Starbucks hit its goal of buying half of all the energy for its North American stores from renewable sources in 2010, years ahead of schedule, for example. But cups, especially the amount of virgin paper they consume, are proving to be one of his greatest challenges.

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