Dunkin' Donuts' iconic polystyrene foam cups will be no more by 2020. The company announced through a statement on Wednesday that it will be phasing out the coffee cups in an effort to go green. Dunkin' is starting the transition this Spring, beginning with its New York City and California chain locations.
“With more than 9,000 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the U.S. alone, our decision to eliminate foam cups is significant for both our brand and our industry. We have a responsibility to improve our packaging, making it better for the planet while still meeting the needs of our guests,” wrote Karen Raskopf, Dunkin’s chief communications and sustainability officer. “Transitioning away from foam has been a critical goal for Dunkin’ Donuts U.S., and with the double-walled cup, we will be able to offer a replacement that meets the needs and expectations of both our customers and the communities we serve.”
New recyclable, double-walled paper cups certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard will replace the foam ones. They're already being used at stores in the company’s birthplace of Quincy, Massachusetts.
Some might mourn the loss of the foam vessel that has become a symbol for millions of Americans looking to get their caffeine fix from a cup of mediocre coffee, but the eco-friendly decision is definitely for the best. As New York Daily News points out, foam cups take a particularly long time to decompose, often plugging landfills and contaminating oceans in the process. Dunkin' estimates that the shift will eliminate 1 billion foam cups from America’s waste each year after the transition is complete.