McDonald’s has joined Starbucks and Closed Loop Partners as a founding member of a group that aims to jointly develop a global recyclable and/or compostable solution to address cup waste.

The parties will work on identifying and commercialising a cup made from sustainable sources.

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The development comes after Starbucks teamed up with Closed Loop Partners in March to unveil the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge, which is set to commence in September and invites applicants to submit their plans for an eco-friendly cup that is recyclable, compostable or both.

McDonald’s has pledged to sponsor $5m to help launch the Challenge.

The investment will bring the total funds available for the programme to $10m, which includes financing from Starbucks.

“A better cup will benefit the entire industry and we invite others to join us as we move these efforts forward.”

Up to seven of the challenge winners will get an opportunity to participate in a six-month accelerator programme to further develop their solutions.

McDonald’s US senior vice-president and chief supply chain officer Marion Gross said: “McDonald’s is committed to using our scale for good to make positive changes that impact our planet and the communities we serve.

“We are excited to join Starbucks and Closed Loop to help solve this pressing challenge as collaboration is key to finding a scalable, lasting global solution.”

NextGen is focused on the development of a global end-to-end solution that could potentially help give a second life to the 600 billion cups that end up in landfills each year.

Starbucks Global Social Impact vice-president Colleen Chapman said: “We are proud to come together with industry partners like McDonald’s to drive innovative, scalable solutions for cup waste.

“A better cup will benefit the entire industry and we invite others to join us as we move these efforts forward.”

While NextGen aims to find solutions for the entire cup system, including cups, lids and straws, its immediate priority will be focused on the fibre-based hot and cold cup.