We are not prepared to transition fully out of foam at this time.
In 2010, Dunkin' Donuts said replacing its iconic foam cups was its "#1 sustainability priority." In 2013, CEO Travis Nigel said it would have a more sustainable cup in two or three years.
Little progress has been made on that front. Reuters reports the brand has a new cup, but it's not popular with customers.
Why does it matter?
Simply put, polystyrene (better known as Styrofoam), is terrible for the environment. It takes 500 years to decompose, it's non-recyclable, and it contains at least two known carcinogens, according to a Washington University in St. Louis report. San Francisco banned polystyrene back in June, Time reports.
But it's really good at keeping warm drinks warm, and it's dirt cheap.
What about that new cup you mentioned?
Dunkin' has worked on a cup made of polypropylene, which is much easier to recycle. It took years of research, but it's still not ready for prime time -it's still too expensive, and the lid is still made of polystyrene.
Also, since most Dunkin' Donuts locations are franchised, it can be tricky to get everyone to adopt the new cups, Conrad McKerron of environmental agency As You Sow told Reuters.
Has anyone else made this work?
Yep. McDonald's, which also franchises a lot of its locations, made the switch to paper cups in 2013. Similarly, France banned plastic plates and utensils last week.
Some Dunkin' fans weren't too pressed about the issue.
I'm not sure what this cup from Dunkin in Portland is made out of, but it has to be Styrofoam minus the one thing that makes it "Styrofoam".— Ryan Brownewell (@browniewell) September 18, 2016
Others apparently had tested the new cup and weren't fans.