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Dunkin’ Donuts Sites Switch To Greener Hot Drink Cups

Starting Tuesday, all Dunkin’ Donuts California locations, including American Canyon’s, will use a new, double-walled paper cup for hot beverages, company officials announced.

The firm has eliminated all foam/polystyrene cups at its restaurants statewide, opting instead for the new type, that area designed to be used without a sleeve, they said.

It’s part of the company’s commitment to the environment and worldwide plan to eliminate polystyrene cups completely, by mid-2020, they said. This move will remove nearly 1 billion foam cups from the waste stream annually, they said.

Dunkin’ Donuts had used single-walled paper cups with sleeves for its espresso-based beverages at its six Bay Area locations — Walnut Creek, South San Francisco, American Canyon, Fremont, Half Moon Bay and Petaluma. Now, all its hot beverages in California will be served in the new double-walled paper cups, officials said.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ restaurants in Hawaii and New York City are also transitioning to the double-walled paper cup, which will be phased in across the U.S. as supplier manufacturing capabilities ramp up, officials said. The majority of Dunkin’ Donuts’ international markets are currently using paper cups, and the brand will work with its franchisees to eliminate foam cups from the remaining international markets by the 2020 goal, they said.

The move complements the firm’s earlier commitments in the U.S. to have 80 percent of fiber-based consumer-facing packaging certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard by the end of this year; eliminate artificial dyes from its menu; build new, more energy-efficient restaurants; and partner with the Rainforest Alliance to source certified coffee.

Since 2005, the brand has made several packaging improvements in the U.S., including:

–2005 — Began sourcing a four-cup carrier made of recycled newsprint.

–2009 — Transitioned to napkins made with 100 percent recycled paper and added recycled content to espresso sleeves, cup carriers and Box O’ Joe.

–2014 — Transitioned to bagel bags made with 100 percent recycled paper, saving some 20 million pounds of virgin paper annually.

–2015 — Began transition of the lids for cold beverage cups from PET to recyclable #5 polypropylene, a change that will take 500,000 pounds of material out of the waste stream annually once completed this summer.

–2016 — Issued a new Sustainable Pulp and Paper Sourcing policy aiming to source paperboard certified to the SFI Standard for 80 percent of its consumer-facing fiber-based packaging by the end of 2018.

For more information, see the company’s 2016 CSR report, at


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