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Dunkin’ Donuts pursues recycling options

United States – US food chain Dunkin’ Donuts has pledged to extend its recycling of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam beverage cups to ‘as many stores as possible’ by the end of the year.

Under a pilot programme launched in February, the option to recycle is currently available at five of the company’s outlets. The brand also notes: ‘We continue to search for a long-term alternative to our foam cup and hope to roll out a cup that meets our cost, performance and environmental criteria within two to three years.’

EPS foam ban

Adding urgency to this objective is the fact that several municipalities in the USA have banned or are considering banning EPS foam. ‘In response, we are working to understand the objectives of each municipality and develop solutions based on their individual needs, their recycling and waste disposal infrastructures, and the capabilities of our supply chain,’ says Dunkin’ Donuts.

In communities where foam is banned, Dunkin’ Donuts is working with its franchisees to test a double-walled paper cup that contains post-consumer fibre and complies with local regulations. ‘For the foreseeable future’, however, the company says it will continue to use foam cups in communities that have not banned EPS ‘until we find a cup that meets our performance criteria for keeping hands cool and coffee hot, is cost effective, and has a better environmental footprint, such as being recyclable’.

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