WATERBURY, VT.—Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and International Paper today launched the only all-natural paper hot beverage cup available in consumer outlets nationwide. In a conventional cup, the inner surface is lined with a petroleum-based plastic to prevent leaking. The cup unveiled today is lined with a bio-plastic made from a renewable resource—corn. After use, and under the proper conditions, it will break down into water, carbon dioxide and organic matter.
“For 25 years, we’ve said that we craft our coffee with care,” says T.J. Whalen, vice president of marketing for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. “Now our cups are crafted just as carefully. These cups, made from fully renewable resources, are part of our corporate commitment to environmental stewardship.”
“Consumers will notice no difference as they enjoy coffee with this cup—but the environment will,” says Austin Lance, v.p. and general manager Foodservice Business of International Paper. “It’s the first in what will be a series of ecotainer products that reflect our company’s concern for the environmental footprint we leave behind.”
The two companies have been working on the cup for more than a year, including a blind market trial of nearly 5 million cups. Not only does the cup feature an eco-friendly liner, but the material used to create the lining is manufactured in a greenhouse-gas-neutral environment.
“Converting to this cup will mean that we consume nearly a quarter of a million pounds less of non-renewable petrochemical materials every year,” says Green Mountain Coffee Roasters’ Paul Comey, v.p. Environmental Affairs. “That’s why we think this is such a revolutionary eco-friendly cup.”