Green Mountain Coffee Roaster's new Ecotainer Cup

Last year we wondered why the military should be the only ones with a compostable cup for hot liquid. Well wonder no longer. One dressed in civvies has happened along, courtesy of Green Mountain Coffee Roaster. Working with International Paper, (who made the Army/Navy vessel) they have announced the arrival of the Ecotainer. Why did they bother? Because in 2005, "Americans used and discarded 14.4 billion disposable paper cups for hot beverages. If put end-to-end, those cups would circle the earth 55 times. Based on anticipated growth of specialty coffees, that number will grow to 23 billion by 2010—enough to circle the globe 88 times." Plus they calculated that the petrochemicals consumed in the making of that many cups would be equal to keeping 8,300 homes heated for one year. The Ecotainer addresses this by having corn based liner, instead using a quarter of a million pounds of petro-plastic. In short, it can be composted and returned to the earth to make more soil. GMCR and IP go on to suggest that by opting for a corn-based they'll conserve the consumption of nearly 250,000 pounds (113,400 kg) of non-renewable petrochemicals every year. And 70% of the energy used for the paperboard manufacture is from renewables.While GMCR and IP are to be commended for their endeavours, this writer offers a personal wish list for an even greener hot beverage cup. 1. Post consumer recycled content in the paperboard (they say they are working on it), 2. if virgin paper pulp is needed, that it is sourced via an independent certifier, such as the Forest Stewardship Council, rather than an industry-based one, like the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and 3. that the PLA (polylactic acid) corn be from a source that can verify it is not Genetically Modified (It's our understanding that Natureworks PLA cannot yet make this claim.)

::Green Mountain Coffee, via Memphis Business Journal.