Gretchen

GREENING YOUR COFFEE HABIT: Ecotainer Hot Beverage Cup

by , 07/22/06
filed under: Uncategorized

Greening your coffee

America runs on coffee, and Americans are a people on the run. Every year, we drink more than 100 billion cups of coffee and of those, at least 14.4 billion are served in disposable paper to-go cups. That’s enough cups to wrap the earth 55 times!

Traditionally, those paper cups have been made with a non-renewable, non-biodegradable petrochemical plastic coating. But all that could end with the recent introduction of the new Ecotainer cup from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.


The Vermont-based wholesale coffee company known for its fairly traded, organic products and impressive business ethics, recently teamed up with International Paper to launch the Ecotainer, an eco-friendly hot beverage cup that is fully compostable.

Instead of using petroleum, the waterproof lining of Ecotainer cup is made from a corn-based bio-plastic called polylactic acid, or PLA. In addition to being derived from a renewable resource, PLA will also fully biodegrade under proper conditions. According to company research, by using a these new cups Green Mountain Coffee Roasters will conserve the consumption of nearly a quarter of a million pounds of petrochemical materials every year.

The Ecotainer cups are currently in use only where GMRC coffee is sold, but begining this fall International Paper will be marketing them as a commercial product with the goal to make the Ecotainer the standard hot beverage cup of the foodservice industry. What’s more, GMCR and International Paper are also begining research towards developing a corn-based plastic drink lid.

So find a Green Mountain Coffee merchant near you and start lobbying your local java hut (or behemoth chain – Starbucks, anyone?) to serve their own brew in Ecotainers, too!

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6 Comments

  1. JayP71 April 13, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Am I missing something? Isn’t the most ‘green’ way to drink coffee to reused the same ceramic cup or travel mug? People that are really concerned about this issue already do this. Why get this pretentious?

  2. Susi July 25, 2006 at 7:08 pm

    Starbucks uses 10% post-consumer recycled content in it’s cups, and I believe 60% in the sleeves.

    It’s doesn’t seem as though these cups use any recycled content… is there a way to combine recycled paper with this bio-plastic lining for an even better cup?

  3. Christine Rankin July 25, 2006 at 3:11 pm

    Where does Starbucks stand on this issue?? Does anyone know if they they planning on providing eco friendly cups in the future?

  4. Peter July 25, 2006 at 1:39 am

    This is great news. I think the next step is a way to encourage people to dispose of the cups so that they will be composted and not thrown in the non-recycled trash. Perhaps community based composting piles that those who contribute get free black-gold.

  5. reveries - extra textur... July 24, 2006 at 10:50 am

    [...] Traditionally, paper cups have been made with a non-renewable, non-biodegradable petrochemical plastic coating. But all that could end with the recent introduction of the new Ecotainer cup from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. (more) [...]

  6. Communal_Cup July 24, 2006 at 9:07 am

    Kudos! We all need to become more focused on and aware of sustainability. I’d like to see more companies use this approach… and more customers using refillable, washable coffee mugs!

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