Dunkin’ Looks To Ditch Foam Cups By 2020

February 8, 2018 GMT

WILKES-BARRE — The only foam at Dunkin’ Donuts will soon be in your cappuccino.

The coffee shop will begin serving hot beverages in a double-walled paper cup instead of polystyrene foam this spring, the start of a transition to paper cups that is expected to last until 2020.

The new cup is already used at a store in Quincy, Massachusetts, the company’s birthplace. It will be introduced in New York City and California this spring and expanded across the country.

The company has dozens of locations in Northeast Pennsylvania, including a store on Wilkes-Barre’s Public Square. Small coffees and all sizes of lattes come in paper cups there, and cool drinks come in plastic. Medium and large coffees are served in styrofoam.


Jason Belack, 33, of Dunmore, visits the Wilkes-Barre store for some of his five to six daily coffees. He starts the day with cream and sugar to help it go down and goes for simple black coffee later in the day to savor the taste.

“It’s probably going to be better for the environment. We’ll have less waste that’s going to sit in a landfill for decades or hundreds of centuries. My hand’s probably not going to like it because I’m probably going to burn my hand more,” he said. “It seems to be a trend that everybody’s going to paper cups. I think Dunkin’ Donuts is one of the few places I go to anymore that still has foam cups. It’s good to see that they’re trying to use less product and focus a little bit more on sustainability and not using things that are going to harm the environment.”

Foam packaging decomposes slowly, ends up in oceans and can harm marine life and other animals that ingest it. There has been a push to ban its use.

Dunkin’ Donuts said on its website that the move is part of an effort to promote environmentally sustainable practices. The new cup will hold heat as well as the current foam cup, keeping beverages hot while hands stay cool without a sleeve, the company said.


The transition to paper cups will eliminate almost 1 billion foam cups from the global waste stream.

Kenny Mark, 51, of Wilkes-Barre, plans to keep buying coffee regardless of the container in which the beverage is served.

“It’s the coffee that makes me come in, not their cups, you know what I mean? They could serve it in a bowl. They have good coffee,” he said.

Perhaps saxophonist and poet Charles Henry Chulada, 66, of Wilkes-Barre, said it best in an impromptu verse he recited outside the Public Square store: “Styrofoam is close to home, but a paper cup says wazzup.”

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