Dunkin' Says Sayonara Styrofoam
By: Casha Doemland
The fact that styrofoam is not degradable and is typically tossed into a landfill or found chilling along coastlines and waterways is no new news. Neither is the fact that big chain restaurants have received heat for not switching to more sustainable practices sooner.
So, earlier this month when Dunkin’ Donuts announced it would be switching from styrofoam cups to recyclable, double-walled paper cups, Twitter and anti-styrofoam users rejoiced. "We have a responsibility to improve our packaging, making it better for the planet while still meeting the needs of our guest," states Karen Raskopt, Chief Communications, and Sustainability Officer of Dunkin Brands in an interview.
Double-walled paper cups are already in use in Dunkin' Donuts' birthplace Quincy, Massachusetts with plans to phase out styrofoam cups in restaurants across New York and California in spring 2018 and nationwide by 2020. Congrats, Dunkin’!
Now, how are double-walled paper cups better for Mother Earth?
First, the double-walled paper cup is made with certified paperboard to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard, a program dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management in North America and the procurement of forest products around the world. Second, the paper cup is recyclable and will not clog up a landfill or create waste in our oceans. Lastly, the heat retention properties of the new double-walled paper cup will keep beverages hot while keeping your hands cool. Sayonara cardboard sleeves.
While you're at it, prepare to say goodbye to the 1 billion foam cups Dunkin' is going to eliminate from the United States waste system over the next two years until the foam is completely phased out. That's half of the 2 billion cups a year Dunkin' uses throughout more than 12,000 locations around the world(most international stores are already using paper cups).
Dunkin' Donuts sustainable packaging didn't start there. Since 2005, the company has made numerous improvements including, but not limited to, sourcing a four-cup carrier made of recycled newsprint and transitioning to bagel bags made with 100% recycled paper. This saves an estimated 20 million pounds of virgin paper per year.
Celebrate environmentally good times and watch America continue to run on Dunkin' because the classic white cup with its vibrant logo isn't going anywhere. It’s simply upgrading.
LA-based and Georgia-bred, Casha Doemland spends her days crafting poetry and freelance writing. Over the last two years, she’s been published in a variety of publications and zines around the world. When she’s not nerding out with words, you can catch her watching a classic film, trekking around the globe or hanging out with a four-pound Pomeranian.