Dunkin’ Donuts To Eliminate Foam Coffee Cups By 2020

Dunkin' Donuts' new paper cups

Dunkin’ Donuts has revealed plans to begin eliminating all polystyrene foam cups in its global supply chain this spring, with a targeted completion date of 2020. Dunkin’ Donuts will replace the foam cups with a new, double-walled paper cup. The majority of Dunkin’ Donuts’ international markets are already using paper cups, and the brand will work with its franchisees to eliminate foam cups from the remaining international markets by the 2020 goal.

The move complements Dunkin’ Donuts’ earlier commitments in the U.S. to have 80 percent of its fiber-based, consumer-facing packaging certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard by the end of this year; to eliminate artificial dyes from its menu; to build new, more energy-efficient restaurants; and to partner with the Rainforest Alliance to source certified coffee.

The new, double-walled paper cup already is in use at Dunkin’ Donuts’ “next-generation” concept store, which opened in mid-January in the company’s birthplace of Quincy, Massachusetts. It will be introduced at all Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in New York City and California this spring and will be phased in across the U.S.

The double-walled paper cup is made with paperboard certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard and features the current re-sealable lid known to customers. It comes in four sizes—small, medium, large and extra-large—and will be used for all of the brand’s hot beverages, including coffee, lattes, macchiatos, tea and hot chocolate.

According to the company, the new cups boast the same heat retention properties as the foam cups, but the new double-walled paper cup will keep beverages hot while keeping hands cool, without the need for a sleeve.

“Our decision to eliminate foam cups is significant for both our brand and our industry,” said Karen Raskopf, chief communications and sustainability officer, Dunkin’ Brands. “We have a responsibility to improve our packaging, making it better for the planet while still meeting the needs of our guests. Transitioning away from foam has been a critical goal for Dunkin’ Donuts U.S., and with the double-walled cup, we will be able to offer a replacement that meets the needs and expectations of both our customers and the communities we serve.”

Dunkin’ Donuts’ transition to paper cups will remove nearly 1 billion foam cups from the waste stream annually.


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About The Author

A veteran 20-year editor of The Griffin Report who often tours various supermarkets to check out the latest trends. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys sports, his family and young, energetic grandchild.