Starbucks considers Karma Cup
The betacup, an open competition to find ways to reduce the number of disposable beverage containers used the United States, brewed up some interesting solutions in June.
The Karma Cup, a chalkboard that keeps track of how many customers use reusable cups, won first prize, which was sponsored by Seattle-based Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX). Every tenth customer that brings in his or her own cup would win a prize. Its designer received a $10,000 cash prize for the low-tech solution.
Starbucks, which provided $20,000 in cash prizes, says it wants to serve 25 percent of the drinks it makes in stores in reusable cups by 2015. The company says it plans to try to determine if betacup designs focused on creating mug-exchange programs and using social media to increase the use of reusable mugs can be implemented in company systems, says Jim Hanna, Starbucks director of environmental impact.
Knowing customers will still want disposable cups, Starbucks set a goal to serve all of the drinks made in its stores in reusable, recyclable or compostable cups by 2015. Reaching this goal means more than just changing the type of single-use cups the company offers, Hanna says. Composting and recycling infrastructure has to be in places where compostable and recyclable cups are used, he says.