Starbucks' Awards Winner of Contest for Reducing Paper Waste and Consumption

  • Aug 16, 2010

The winner of a competition sponsored by Starbucks to gather ideas for reducing non-recyclable paper cup use isn’t even a cup at all, but a concept for encouraging customers to bring their own cups for possible free drinks.

The top four winners of their contest are all excellent ideas to reduce paper consumption, but only one was a reusable or biodegradable cup.

“We’re very interested in looking at the winning ideas and many of the other submitted ideas as we develop new solutions to reduce cup waste,” said Elise Chisholm, Starbucks spokesperson. “We haven’t yet had a chance to determine specific action plans. Increasing adoption of reusable cups – including travel tumblers and our own ceramic serveware – is definitely an important part of the equation for us.”

The Betacup competition offered a total of $20,000 for ideas that could eliminate paper cup consumption. Starbucks sponsored it as part of its efforts to only offer reusable or recyclable cups by 2015.

The winning idea was the Karma Cup, a simple concept for putting a chalkboard by the register at a coffee shop, having customers that use reusable cups make a mark on the board, and then giving a free coffee to every 10th customer that uses a reusable. This is a fun and creative idea – but be sure to move back toward the end of the line once you see the 10th person get their reward.

The three honorable mentions were:

  • Category: green marketing
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