US - Starbucks Coffee, together with LBP Manufacturing and Henkel, has launched its new hot-cup sleeve - Earth Sleeve – which enables a reduction in total material usage while increasing post-consumer content, saving nearly 100,000 trees.
Manufactured in LBP’s manufacturing plant in Illinois with Henkel adhesive solutions, the Earth Sleeve uses 34% less raw fiber material and 25% more post-consumer content without compromising on its performance or functionality.
Besides its small raw material composition and a new total usage of 85% post consumer fiber content, the new sleeve also allows for a case-cube and truckload yield improvement by 15%, reducing the overall environmental footprint of the shipping of the EarthSleeve. It is also fully compostable according to ASTM and Cedar Grove requirements, and has been approved by Western Michigan University for its repulpability.
With nearly 3 billion hot-cup sleeves manufactured in the US last year and Starbucks representing nearly 50% of the marketplace, the coffee chain says this material evolution will have a major impact on the packaging industry.
Cliff Burrows, president of the Americas for Starbucks said, “At Starbucks we are constantly looking to innovate in ways that make our world a better place. This product represents how the integration of our environmental values and collaboration with like-minded organizations can create significant impact.”
Currently the new sleeve is being introduced at all Starbucks outlets across the USA and Canada and is being evaluated for global usage.
John Meccia, VP-Paper Converting for Henkel said, "The introduction of the EarthSleeve represents an achievement in adhesive formulation.”
Meccia, whose team collaborated on the development of the multifunctional adhesives used in the project, added, "Creating a formula that would allow for user experience on par with traditional sleeves, but effectively facilitate the removal of fiber, framed every aspect of the cooperative effort. Successfully meeting the technical objectives was truly a feat. The implication of our work on the environment is what makes this a real accomplishment."