Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Starbucks and McDonald's Collaborate on Reusable Cup Pilot Program

By Jennifer Saibil - Feb 18, 2020 at 6:26PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Cleaning and reusing is the next wave in eco-friendly coffee cups.

What if coffee cups could be reused instead of thrown out? That's what Starbucks (SBUX -0.95%) and McDonald's (MCD 2.74%) are betting on, with both companies contributing to the NextGen Consortium, a group that's been developing reusable cups to be more gentle on the environment.

The NextGen Challenge

The consortium sponsors the NextGen challenge, which awards grants to initiatives to develop environmentally sound coffee cups. It was founded by Starbucks and McDonald's, and is operated by Closed Loop Partners, a private equity firm that invests in sustainable innovation.

The pre-launch was in September 2018, and two of the winning proposals will start pilot programs this week.

Starbucks sustainability people.

Image source: Starbucks.

Testing at a coffee shop near you

Two of the winning proposals in the reusable cup service model category will begin pilot programs this week in California. The other categories are innovative cup, cup liners, and new materials. 

One of the startups, called Muuse, will begin its trial at independent coffee shops in San Francisco. Its technology consists of QR codes on the cups that can be scanned when picking up or dropping off, and then the cups can be deposited at designated dropoff locations.

The other is a UK-based group called CupClub, which involves a similar process where coffee drinkers scan a RFID (Radio-frequency identification) tag at a pickup or dropoff point, and then stack cups when done. These will be tested in Palo Alto.

In both models, the cups get collected and are sanitized for reuse. The codes give data analysts important information about how often the cups are being used and where they're being recycled more frequently.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

McDonald's Corporation Stock Quote
McDonald's Corporation
$244.52 (2.74%) $6.52
Starbucks Corporation Stock Quote
Starbucks Corporation
$72.72 (-0.95%) $0.70

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/24/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.