Starbucks Brazil launches single-use cup recycling initiative

This Earth Day, Starbucks will also promote reusability by offering free coffee to clients who buy the selected model of reusable cups.

Sao Paulo – Starbucks Brazil today announced the roll-out of a new cup recycling initiative through the Circular Economy Project “Ciclobom” – developed by BO Packaging with the support of paperboard producer Ibema and intelligent reverse logistics startup Green Mining – to give single-use cups a second life by turning them into cup sleeves for hot beverages. As part of Starbucks global goal to reduce waste sent to landfill from stores and manufacturing by 50% by 2030, the company remains committed to developing innovative sustainability initiatives, driven by a broader shift toward a circular economy.

The initiative marks a milestone in Starbucks journey to become a resource-positive company, aspiring to protect the planet’s future and working together with customers, store partners and like-minded organizations to promote sustainability initiatives.

“Starbucks in Brazil is constantly developing new initiatives to be locally sustainable and to create consciousness around issues for the planet. Cup recycling is connected to our goals on making a positive impact on the neighborhoods that host our stores and encouraging the circular economy of paper cups in our market,” said Sandra Collier, Marketing, Loyalty, and Social Responsibility Director of SouthRock, Starbucks licensed retail operator in Brazil.

First launched in 2021 as a pilot program at three Starbucks stores in São Paulo, the Ciclobom Project recycles the brand’s iconic white paper cups and gives them a second life by turning them into cup sleeves. After only eleven months, the project has collected and recycled more than 80,000 cups. Now Ciclobom is available at nine stores in São Paulo, with the intention to expand to 60 stores across Brazil by the end of the year.

From single-use paper cups to cup sleeves

Starbucks Brazil customers can support the Ciclobom Project by disposing their single-use paper cups at designated collection bins installed at select stores. Green Mining then collects the cups and sends them to be processed by Ibema through a system that uses low water resources to separate the plastic layer from the paper. The plastic is sent for recycling while the paper fibers are turned into 30% post-consumer recycled paperboard to become, in the future, a new Starbucks cup sleeve for hot beverages.

Sustainability at Starbucks

Efforts to reduce single-use cup waste are not new to Starbucks. And now creating more options for people to enjoy their beverages – generally promoting reusability – is a key part of Starbucks ongoing global commitment to reduce waste sent to landfill from stores and manufacturing by 50% by 2030, building on Starbucks Global Greener Cup timeline, with the company’s recent milestones.

The company’s goal by 2025 is to create a cultural movement towards waste reduction by providing customers easy access to reusable cups, making it more convenient for customers to enjoy their Starbucks Experience with their personal cups and for-here-ware. Globally, multiple programs and operating models are being tested with this goal in mind, such as Borrow A Cup, in which customers order their drink in a designated Starbucks returnable cup; 100% Reusable Operating Models, which considers single-use cups to be eliminated entirely, in favor of reusables, personal cups or for-here-ware; and Personal Cups & For-Here-Ware, to encourage customers to bring their own cups and emphasize Starbucks-provided for-here-ware as the default sit-and-stay experience.

In Brazil, for customers who want to sit, stay, and enjoy the physical café experience at Starbucks, store partners can already offer the option of for-here-ware as a more planet conscious sit-and-stay experience. Also, during Earth Day in Brazil (Apr 22), clients buying the selected model of reusable cup at any Starbucks store in the country will earn a filtered coffee for free.

Starbucks and SouthRock, the company’s licensed retail operator in Brazil, continue evaluating further initiatives that will help reach the company’s global sustainability goals.

Find a Ciclobom collection bin

Ciclobom Circular Economy Project is current available at the following Starbucks stores, in Sao Paulo:

  • Paraíso: Rua Desembargador Eliseu Guilherme, 200
  • Itaim Bibi: Rua Jesuíno Arruda, 626
  • Moema: Alameda Jauaperi, 597
  • Shopping Frei Caneca: Rua Frei Caneca, 569
  • Berrini: Avenida Engenheiro Luís Carlos Berrini, 773
  • Shopping Morumbi: Avenida Roque Petroni Júnior, 1089
  • Pavão: Avenida Pavão, 667
  • Gomes de Carvalho: Rua Gomes de Carvalho, 1740
  • Brascan Open Mall: Rua Joaquim Floriano, 466

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Since entering Brazil in 2006, Starbucks has grown to more than 160 stores in seven markets: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná, Minas Gerais, and the Federal District.

About SouthRock

The licensee operator of Starbucks in Brazil, SouthRock was founded in 2015 with the objective of managing and operating a qualified and multi-brand foodservice portfolio in the Brazilian market. It started operating in 2017 at Guarulhos International Airport managing B.A.R. (Brazil Airport Restaurants), which operates exclusively in the most important airports in Brazil bringing a diversity of brands to consumers, travelers, and tourists. In 2018, the company signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Starbucks and TGI Fridays in Brazil, being granted with right to operate these brands nationwide (model used globally by these brands). The company's expansion process was amplified in 2019, when Starbucks stores were inaugurated in Santa Catarina, the first market outside São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. During that same year, SouthRock Lab, a digital branch also started aiming to develop technologies to improve physical x digital experiences and interactions between customers and brands. SouthRock is committed to constantly expanding its business in order to reach more people and more communities with its brands, offering great services, sharing values and positively impacting society, always putting customers and employees first alongside its brands.