Starbucks accounts for almost 50% of the US coffee market, and they are responsible for a huge amount of disposable packaging—but with the launch of their EarthSleeve, the corporate giant hopes to reduce some of that waste. The new hot cup sleeve “integrates proprietary technology that enables a reduction in overall material usage while at the same time increasing the post-consumer content.” What does that mean in layman’s terms? By changing the manufacturing process of their hot cup sleeves, Starbucks could save a lot of trees.

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The EarthSleeve was developed for Starbucks by Illinois-based company LBP Manufacturing. Its manufacture sees a decrease in the use of raw fiber material by 34% and increase in post-consumer content (or recycled materials) of 25% without sacrificing performance or function.

Considering that an estimated three billion hot cup sleeves are produced in the United States each year, the EarthSleeve has the potential to make a massive impact on the packaging industry.

“At Starbucks we are constantly looking to innovate in ways that make our world a better place,” said Cliff Burrows, president of the Americas for Starbucks. “This product represents how the integration of our environmental values and collaboration with like-minded organizations can create significant impact.”

“We are very excited about the opportunities the combined vision and resources of Starbucks, Henkel and LBP have proven what they together can deliver with EarthSleeve™,” added Matthew Cook, President of LBP. “This product represents a whole new level of innovation in packaging performance, sustainability and corporate social responsibility we can expect in the future.”

The EarthSleeve is currently being introduced into Starbucks locations across the United States and Canada and—if the project is deemed to be a success—it will be rolled out in branches across the globe.

+ Starbucks


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