In its continued quest to reduce the environmental impact of its caffeine-infused empire, Starbucks Coffee Company recently announced the launch of a new compostable hot-cup sleeve that uses less raw material and is easier to transport. According to the company’s recent release, the EarthSleeve uses 34 percent less raw fiber and is made up of 85 percent post-consumer content, an increase of 25 percent compared to previous sleeves.
In 2011, Starbucks customers in the U.S. briefly used and then discarded almost 3 billion hot drink cup sleeves. Of course, this problem would be eliminated by more people using ceramic coffee cups when staying in house, or bringing their own reusable coffee cups, but that’s probably a moot point. Since the company refuses to encourage the use of reusable drink ware, we’re glad they’re at least attempting to reduce waste.
Manufactured for Starbucks right here in the USA, the company says the EarthSleeve also allows for a case cube and truckload yield improvement of 15 percent, reducing the overall environmental impact of the transportation of the sleeves.
The company also boasts that the EarthSleeve has been deemed fully compostable by both ASTM and Cedar Grove requirements, and has recently been approved for repulpability by Western Michigan University. Of course, all cardboard can be added to your compost pile, but sometimes adhesives used on hot cup sleeves make it a bad idea. Altogether, Starbucks claims that if put into regular circulation, the EarthSleeve could save nearly 100,000 trees, although it’s not clear if that’s a day, a year, or total.