McDonald’s joins Starbucks in NextGen Cup Challenge

McDonald’s has joined Starbucks in partnership with Closed Loop Partners to help launch the NextGen Cup Challenge – aimed at ending cup waste.

McDonald’s is committing US$5 million to the consortium and challenge, bringing the total funds directly dedicated to the project to US$10 million.

The Challenge kicks off in September and invites innovators, entrepreneurs, industry experts, and recyclers to submit their ideas to develop the first recyclable and compostable cup solution, allowing a cup to be manufactured, fully recycled and made into cups again. Awardees will receive acceleration funding up to $1 million based on key milestones, with up to seven entering a six-month accelerator program to help scale their solutions.

Currently, Starbucks paper cups are made with 10 per cent post-consumer recycled fibre – the first of its kind to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) back in 2006. The inside of the cups is coated with a thin liner that helps prevent leaks, common in the food retail business.

If the NextGen Cup Challenge is successful, the technology will be shared with the entire global industry.


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