Starbucks Claims New Cup Sleeve Will Save 100K Trees

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.

coffee cup sleeve

Image via Shutterstock

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.

We couldn’t find a picture of the new EarthSleeve. If anyone sees one, let us know what it looks like!

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog