Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Natchez company supplies recycled paper for Starbucks cups

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Starbucks Coffee Company supply chain member Mississippi River Corporation the first-ever approval to use recycled content in food packaging, specifically Starbucks hot beverage cups. Following successful testing, Starbucks expects to convert its hot beverage cups to 10% recycled material, which the company says is an industry first.

"Beginning to use post-consumer recycled content hot beverage cups is an important milestone for Starbucks in addressing the environmental impact associated with our paper-buying practices," said Jim Donald, Starbucks CEO designate. "Starbucks goal is to convert hot cups in our U.S. Company-operated retail stores by the end of calendar 2005. We will continue to explore ways to include recycled content in all Starbucks-branded paper goods in our stores."

Starbucks collaborated for more than two years with its suppliers Solo Cup Company, MeadWestvaco and Mississippi River Corporation to obtain approval from the FDA for this innovation in food packaging.

After testing in early 2005 to validate performance, quality and safety issues, Starbucks expects to convert the recycled content cups into retail stores in the U.S. The hot beverage cups will look and perform the same, but the new cup is expected to lower the company's dependence on tree fiber annually by more than five million pounds.

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