International Paper Supplies Eco-Friendly Cups to Tully's Coffee

Sept. 19, 2007 - Tully's Coffee Corp., a fully handcrafted coffee roaster, today became the first major coffee retailer to adopt a fully renewable and compostable paper cup for its hot beverages. Tully's has simultaneously established an in-store collection program to divert the used cups and other compostable food waste from local landfills to organic composting facilities. These materials will eventually be composted and "recycled" to enrich soil rather than lost to the landfill.

Tully's program features the innovative ecotainer™ hot cup from International Paper. Unlike conventional paper hot cups that are lined with a petrochemical plastic to prevent leaking, the ecotainer hot cup is lined with a bio-plastic made from a renewable resource—corn. This coating material requires less energy to manufacture and is greenhouse gas neutral. In addition, the cup is the only commercially available 100 percent compostable hot cup certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI).

"Our ecotainer hot cup is designed to maximize use of renewable materials, to reduce energy and greenhouse gas emissions required to make the product, and to offer an alternative to land-filling packaging waste," said Austin Lance, vice president and general manager of International Paper's Foodservice Business. "Tully's is among the leaders in achieving the full environmental benefit that this product was designed to deliver."

In contrast, Starbucks recently has been criticized for using cups with a coating that many recyclers say makes the cups a problem to recycle.

According to a news story in The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), Starbucks goes through roughly 2.3 billion paper cups a year and touts its national award for using cups made of 10 percent recycled material. The sleeves on the cups even plead, "Help us help the planet."

However, the cups themselves aren't recyclable [in the Columbus area] or in most other cities nationwide due to the plastic coating the prevents the cups from leaking, the story states

"With American consumers using more than 16 billion paper hot cups every year, leaders in the specialty coffee retail industry need to take action," said Rob Martin, vice president of Merchandising and Production for Tully's Coffee."Tully's customers expect that we are going to deliver a great coffee experience every time — and that we are going to do it in a way that is consistent with our core values."

SOURCE: International Paper and The Columbus Dispatch

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