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Starbucks Environmental Leadership Drives Industry First With Use of the Only FDA Approved Recycled-Content Cup


SEATTLE, WA -- 11/22/2004 -- E-Wire -- In an important step to further integrate leading environmental practices into its business, Starbucks Coffee Company announced today that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Starbucks 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 percent recycled material, 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 historic innovation in food packaging. For the first time in its history, the FDA granted this approval to Mississippi River Corporation and its customers, MeadWestvaco and Solo Cup Company, in September of this year.

“We are tremendously excited to work with Starbucks, Solo Cup Company, and MeadWestvaco, on the introduction of the first-ever recycled content hot beverage cup containing FDA approved recycled pulp manufactured by our company,” said Edward S. Logan III, Mississippi River Corporation president and CEO. “We, and our employees, are proud to partner with these fine companies and commend their environmental commitment.”

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.

“As Starbucks continues to grow and expand its presence around the globe, we are actively working to incorporate environmental considerations in our business operations,” said Ben Packard, Starbucks director of environmental affairs. “We hope to have other future ’firsts’ as we continue to look for innovative ways to improve our environmental performance.”


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