Canton, Mass. — Dunkin' Donuts is going foam free, saying in a Feb. 7 news release that it will eliminate all expanded polystyrene foam cups from its global supply chain starting this spring.
All cups will be replaced with a new, double-walled paper cup by 2020, the company said. The majority of the Canton-based fast food restaurant's international stores already are using paper cups, and Dunkin' said it will work with its franchisees to make the transition.
The new paper cup already is in use at Dunkin' Donuts' "next generation concept store," which opened last month in Quincy, Mass. All New York City and California restaurants will be EPS-cup-free by the spring.
The switch will be phased in across the U.S. as supplier manufacturing capabilities ramp up, the company said.
"With more than 9,000 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in the U.S. alone, our decision to eliminate foam cups is significant for both our brand and our industry," said Karen Raskopf, chief communications and sustainability officer for parent company Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. "We have a responsibility to improve our packaging, making it better for the planet while still meeting the needs of our guests. Transitioning away from foam has been a critical goal for Dunkin' Donuts U.S., and with the double-walled cup, we will be able to offer a replacement that meets the needs and expectations of both our customers and the communities we serve."
The company says it has been working on finding a replacement for the foam cup since 2011. Its transition will eliminate nearly 1 billion foam cups from the waste stream annually.
In 2014, it made a splash when it went public with its use of Berry Plastics Group Inc.'s Versalite polypropylene cup as a foam replacement, with Dunkin' Brands CEO Nigel Travis saying at one point, "I love this cup. It feels a bit like our iconic foam cup."
But at the same time, the company cautioned that no decision had been made about using Versalite, and that the company was also testing a double-walled paper cup.