Dunkin Donuts to Phase Out Foam Cups

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paper cup, expanded polystyrene
Photo: Flickr/stevegarfield

Written by Melissa Hincha-Ownby, Mother Nature Network

Over the course of the next few years, fans of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee won’t have to feel guilty about having their morning cup of Joe in an environmentally damaging foam cup. In its annual corporate social responsibility report, Dunkin’ Donuts announced that it plans to move to recyclable paper cups within the next few years.

In his executive statement, Dunkin’ Donuts CEO Nigel Travis said, “We continue to search for a long-term alternative to our Dunkin’ Donuts foam cup and hope to roll out a cup that meets our cost, performance and environmental criteria within two to three years. In the interim, we launched an in-store foam cup recycling pilot in our company-operated stores and will work with our franchisees to expand that program into as many stores as possible. We also plan to introduce an improved reusable cup program in the next six to 12 months.”

While this isn’t a solid timeline, environmental advocates consider this as a step in the right direction. As You Sow, an organization that promotes environmental and social responsibility, has been focused on pushing Dunkin’ Donuts to change its foam packaging for the last year.

“We are pleased that Dunkin’ Donuts is beginning to take responsibility for reducing the health and environmental impacts of its foam cups,” said Conrad MacKerron, senior vice president at As You Sow. “Promoting on-site recycling and improved recyclability are steps in the right direction.”

In addition to making the move to recyclable paper cups, Dunkin’ Donuts is also going to bring a gluten-free donut and a gluten-free muffin to market by the end of 2013.

Other highlights from the Dunkin’ Donuts’ 2012 CSR report include:

  • The company will be switching to a recyclable pink spoon to its Baskin-Robbins’ brand in 2014; the pink spoon is an iconic representation of the decades-old ice cream brand.
  • Franchise owners now have access to a Power Down, Profit Up toolkit, which includes low and no-cost ideas that help franchisees save water and energy.
  • The company also announced its continued to commitment to develop a plan to source 100 percent sustainable palm oil by 2020.

For more information, download the Dunkin’ Donuts 2012 CSR report.

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