Starbucks to Start Using Recyclable Cups

September 20, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. trial run / ˈtraɪ əl / (n.) – a test of the performance or effectivity of something
Example: The company will start a trial run of its new product before the official launch.

2. pledge /plɛdʒ/ (n.) – an agreement
Example: The police signed a pledge to hide the evidence from the media.

3. lining /ˈlaɪ nɪŋ/ (n.) – a layer that covers the inside surface of something
Example: The coat has a waterproof lining.

4. decompose /ˌdi kəmˈpoʊz/ (v.) – to break down into small parts
Example: You can put the chemical in boiling water to allow it to decompose.

5. reusable / reɪ ˈyu zə bəl / (adj.) – capable of being used again for the same or a different purpose
Example: You should consider using reusable bags when shopping.


Read the text below.
Major coffee chain Starbucks will do a trial run of its new fully recyclable coffee cups to reduce wastes.

The company signed a pledge to serve drinks in recyclable cups in its stores in the United Kingdom. The contract was initiated by the Foodservice Packaging Association and Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group. It aims to tackle the harmful effects of non-recyclable coffee cups on the environment.

In the United Kingdom, 2.5 billion coffee cups are used every year. However, 99% of these cups do not get recycled because of their plastic linings. As a result, these cups are dumped in landfills and left to decompose. The cups’ decomposition usually lasts for 20 years.

To address this issue, Starbucks and other leading food chains in the United Kingdom are partnering with Frugalpac, a UK-based company. Its chief executive, Martin Myerscough, invented the 100% recyclable Frugalpac cup.  He explained that their product is made of reusable materials and is safer for the environment.

Although the Frugalpac cup and the traditional cup look the same, their plastic linings are different. The Frugalpac cup has a thin and removable plastic lining that will make it easier for recycling facilities to separate the lining from the paper.

Starbucks also had an earlier initiative to acknowledge this environmental concern. In April 2016, the coffee chain started offering a small discount to customers who used their own cups. This happened after the company received criticism for contributing large amounts of coffee cup waste in the United Kingdom.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Aside from using the Frugalpac cup, what other actions can coffee and food chains do to reduce litter and waste?
·         What other stores or companies can use the Frugalpac cup? How?

Discussion B

·         Which industry do you think produces the most amount of waste?
·         How can other companies contribute to the reduction of environmental waste?

September 20, 2016