Dunkin says farewell to foam cups and hello paper cups

Dunkin’ Completes Global Transition to Paper Cups, photo provided by Dunkin
Dunkin’ Completes Global Transition to Paper Cups, photo provided by Dunkin /

Sometimes a small change can make a huge difference. That morning run to Dunkin is moving forward with its sustainability goals by ditching the foam cups.

Dunkin understands that a caffeine fix is part of many people’s routine. While the reusable cup might be the more environmentally friendly, reusable might not always be an option. Given today’s current climate, disposable is the norm. With today’s announcement, the popular quick service restaurant has said farewell to foam and hello to paper cups.

In 2014, DD Green Achievement program looked to bolster sustainable and energy efficiency in its restaurants. The plan was to open 500 DD Green Achievement restaurants by the end of 2020. With the goal met early, the company has expanded that goal to 1,000 DD Green Achievement restaurants by the end of 2025.

The restaurant initiative is only part of the brand’s goals. As said by Scott Murphy, President, Dunkin’ Americas, “Even in challenging times like these, sustainability remains a key priority for Dunkin’. We are proud of our accomplishments, but recognize that making a meaningful difference requires commitment and continuous improvement.”

A huge change that has been implemented is the switch to paper cups. Used in all locations, the paper cups are “paperboard certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Standard.” This switch is said to remove “approximately one billion foam cups from the waste stream annually.”

In addition to the paper cup switch, Dunkin will be using “recyclable hot coffee cup lids in its U.S. restaurants by the end of summer 2020.” With this change, the company looks to “remove a collective 19 million pounds of polystyrene from the waste stream annually.”

Dunkin’ Completes Global Transition to Paper Cups, photo provided by Dunkin /

Today’s consumer is looking for more than just convenience. With many restaurant options on every corner, consumers look to align their purchases with companies who have like-minded goals. For many people, environmentally better choices are important.

While many people have learned to skip the straw, the coffee cup is still part of the equation. When a better alternative is available, it can make a difference for many consumers. If a reusable option is not a choice, there needs to be a greener option on the table.

For Dunkin, this choice to further the environmental conversation is smart. While that classic running phrase rings in people’s heads, the on the go choices need to reflect current trends. Putting aside flavors and innovations, environmental initiatives help to keep customers’ loyalty.

Next time you need a caffeine fix, consider running to Dunkin. In addition to a great cup of coffee, your cup may be a better environmental choice.

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Does this switch to paper cups impact your purchase decision? How do you try to be more environmentally friendly?