Starbucks and McDonald's team up to develop new sustainable cup
Starbucks and McDonald’s have teamed up with Closed Loop Partners to build a fully recyclable or compostable cup within the next three years.
The companies — two of the of the top three most popular food chains worldwide — hope to reduce the amount of plastic used in packaging.
McDonald's and Starbucks together distribute a combined 4% of the world's 600 cups that are distributed annually.
The new of the eco-friendly partnership comes as the major fast food players such as Chipotle, Subway and Burger King have also vowed to reduce their plastic use.
- Starbucks CFO Scott Maw to retire
- McDonald's to ditch plastic straws in the UK and Ireland by 2019
- Synlait launches 'bold' sustainability programme
The initiative, known as the NextGen Cup Challenge invites entrepreneurs of all sizes to develop new materials and designs for cups.
The programme will provide grants to the best ideas and help startups develop them into market-ready products.
Starbucks and innovation investment firm, Closed Loop Partners, first launched the initiative in March and now, McDonald’s is set to join the programme.
So far, McDonald’s has contributed $5mn to the fund and McDonald’s is set to match this figure.
"McDonald’s is committed to using our scale for good to make positive changes that impact our planet and the communities we serve,” Marion Gross, senior vice president and chief supply chain officer at McDonald’s USA, said in a statement.
The partnership comes shortly after both companies announced their eco-friendly strategies for the future.
Starbucks recently pledged to be “strawless” by 2020. Meanwhile, McDonald’s said it aims to shift all guest packaging (cups, straws, etc.) to renewable or recycled sources by 2025.
"We are excited to join Starbucks and Closed Loop to help solve this pressing challenge as collaboration is key to finding a scalable, lasting global solution,” added Gross.
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.