Starbucks circular economy project

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Coffee-concepts (Starbucks) in cooperation with Rethink Plastic Vietnam and PLASTIC People implemented a pilot project of a circular economy business model by improving the collection, segregation and recycling of single use plastics generated at store-level. The store in Thao Dien was targeted as the first location for this

pilot project. The project followed the circular economy biz model as shown on the right:


In total an amount of 23.3 Kg of plastic items in 14 bags were collected from Tuesday 19th November until Sunday 24th November.

For each different polymer, the following quantity of plastics items were collected during the overall period of the project:

The Types of plastic waste were mainly bags, bottles, milk bottles, film, lid (of bottle), lid (of cup), cake box, packaging, straw, tetra-pak, container, spoon, cup and others.

In this project, two main sources of plastic streams were identified: the internal, what is used in the kitchen for preparing the products and also what it is served to the customer, and the external, what customers bring from outside and the overall packaging and plastic products containers brought by suppliers.

While it is quite easy to identify the internal sources of waste streams and the external supplier streams, for the customers it is quite difficult to distinguish between those plastics brought by them (especially when not distinguished by specific logos/labelling) and the ones got in the store. It looks like there is not much plastic from outside and mostly those that are potentially brought in by the customers are PET bottles, straws and cutlery.

The ultimate result was the production of a prototype bin made of recycled plastics to be exhibited at the Innovation Street of the Seminar on “Circular Economy of Plastics” on 3rd Dec 2019. The bin is produced from 14.5 kg of plastic. Mostly Tetra-Pak from milk boxes (poly-alu: the plastic and aluminium layers), straws and other film wrappers.






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