Are Dunkin Cups Recyclable

Are Dunkin Cups Recyclable? (Explained)

Can you recycle Dunkin cups?

What Are Dunkin’ Cups Made Of

Dunkin’ cups are used to serve hot and cold beverages, including coffee, tea, and iced drinks.

The material used to make these cups has evolved over the years as the company has sought to balance the need for a functional and cost-effective container with the desire to minimize its environmental impact.

In the past, Dunkin’ cups were made of polystyrene foam, which is a type of plastic that is not biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to break down in the environment.

However, Dunkin’ has since made a global transition away from foam cups and now exclusively uses paper cups with a plastic lining.

The plastic lining in Dunkin’ paper cups is made of #5 polypropylene, which is a type of plastic that can be recycled in cities and towns that offer #5 recycling.

This change, along with the move to double-walled paper cups, has removed a collective 19 million pounds of polystyrene from the waste stream annually.

The double-walled paper cups are designed to provide insulation to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold, while also minimizing the need for a sleeve or other additional packaging.

The paper used in these cups is sourced from responsibly managed forests and is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).

It is important to note that while Dunkin’ cups are recyclable in some areas, not all recycling facilities are equipped to handle them.

Additionally, the plastic lid and straw that accompany many Dunkin’ drinks are typically made of a different type of plastic and may not be recyclable in all areas.

Dunkin’ is actively working to improve the sustainability of its packaging and has set ambitious goals to increase the amount of recycled and sustainable materials used in its products.

Recycling Dunkin’ Cups

Dunkin’ Donuts cups are recyclable, but it depends on the type of cup and whether or not the lid is attached.

The plastic that makes up the cup is #5 polypropylene (PP), which is generally accepted in curbside recycling programs.

However, if a paper sleeve or lid is attached to the cup, these items cannot be recycled along with the cup and must be removed before recycling.

Recycling Process

The recycling process for Dunkin’ cups involves separating the plastic cup from the lid and any paper sleeves.

The cups are then washed and ground into small pieces. The ground plastic is then melted down and formed into pellets, which can be used to create new products such as plastic lumber, park benches, and playground equipment.

Recycling Locations

Dunkin’ Donuts cups can be recycled at most local recycling centers.

Some cities also offer curbside recycling programs that accept #5 plastic.

To find a recycling center or curbside recycling program near you, check with your local waste management agency or use an online search tool such as Recycling Near Me.

It’s important to note that not all recycling centers accept all types of plastic, so it’s always a good idea to check with your local center before dropping off your Dunkin’ cups.

If your local center doesn’t accept #5 plastic, there may be other options available such as mail-in recycling programs or specialized recycling companies that accept this type of plastic.

Dunkin’s Sustainability Efforts

Dunkin’ Brands is committed to sustainability and has implemented several initiatives to reduce its environmental impact.

The company has set ambitious goals to improve its packaging, energy use, and resource management.

Dunkin’ Brands has also partnered with other organizations to promote sustainability and reduce waste.


Dunkin’ Brands has formed partnerships with several organizations to promote sustainability.

The company is a member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and has worked with the organization to develop more sustainable packaging solutions.

Dunkin’ Brands has also partnered with the World Wildlife Fund to promote sustainable coffee farming practices.

The company has committed to sourcing 100% of its coffee from certified sustainable sources by 2020.

Innovative Packaging

Dunkin’ Brands has made significant progress in improving its packaging.

In 2019, the company eliminated polystyrene foam cups from its global supply chain and transitioned to double-walled paper cups, which are both environmentally friendly and recyclable.

The new design retains the insulation properties of styrofoam cups, and customers can rinse and recycle the cup after it has been used at home or in any recycling bin.

Dunkin’ Brands is also exploring other innovative packaging solutions.

The company is testing a new, compostable strawless lid for its cold beverages, which is made from a plant-based material.

The lid is designed to reduce waste and is expected to be rolled out across the company’s U.S. stores in 2021.

Dunkin’ Brands is committed to reducing its energy use and has implemented several energy-efficient measures in its restaurants.

The company’s DD Green Achievement program helps franchisees build more sustainable and energy-efficient restaurants. In 2016, the brand announced a goal of opening 500 DD Green Achievement restaurants by the end of 2020.

Alternatives to Single-Use Cups

As the environmental impact of single-use cups continues to be a growing concern, many coffee shops and retailers are starting to offer alternatives to traditional disposable cups.

Here are some of the most popular options:

Reusable Cups

One of the most effective ways to reduce waste is to bring your own reusable cup. Many coffee shops now offer discounts or incentives for customers who bring their own cups.

Reusable cups come in a variety of materials, including plastic, glass, and stainless steel. Some even come with built-in straws or filters.

Compostable Cups

Compostable cups are made from plant-based materials and are designed to break down quickly in composting facilities.

These cups are a more sustainable alternative to traditional plastic or styrofoam cups, but they still require specific conditions to break down properly.

It is important to note that compostable cups cannot be recycled in traditional recycling facilities.

Double-Walled Paper Cups

Double-walled paper cups are a popular alternative to traditional plastic or styrofoam cups.

These cups are made from renewable resources and are fully recyclable in most recycling facilities.

They also provide better insulation than traditional paper cups, making them a great option for hot drinks.

Hot Coffee Cup Lids

Coffee cup lids are often overlooked when it comes to sustainability, but they can have a significant impact on waste reduction.

Many coffee shops now offer lids made from recyclable materials, such as #5 plastics. Some coffee shops are also switching to lids made from compostable materials, such as corn-based plastics.

K-Cup Pods

K-Cup pods have become a popular option for single-serve coffee, but they are not always recyclable.

Keurig Green Mountain, the company behind K-Cup pods, has committed to making all of their pods recyclable by 2020.

In the meantime, some coffee shops offer refillable K-Cup pods that can be used multiple times, reducing waste.

Overall, there are many alternatives to single-use cups that can help reduce waste and protect the environment. By choosing reusable or compostable cups, customers can make a positive impact on the environment and encourage coffee shops to adopt more sustainable practices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Dunkin Donuts new cups recyclable?

Dunkin Donuts’ new double-walled paper cups are recyclable. These cups are made from paperboard with a thin layer of polyethylene to keep the liquid from leaking. The polyethylene layer is minimal, which makes the cups easily recyclable.

Are Dunkin Donuts plastic cups recyclable?

Dunkin Donuts plastic cups are not recyclable in most areas. The vast majority of Dunkin Donuts locations do not recycle coffee cups in any way, including plastic cups. However, Dunkin Donuts has made a commitment to transition to more sustainable packaging, including recyclable cups.

Are Dunkin Donuts iced coffee cups recyclable?

Dunkin Donuts iced coffee cups are not recyclable in most areas. These cups are made from a combination of paper and plastic, which makes them difficult to recycle. However, Dunkin Donuts has made a commitment to transition to more sustainable packaging, including recyclable cups.

Are coffee cups, in general, recyclable?

Most coffee cups are not recyclable due to their polyethylene lining. The lining prevents the cups from being recycled with regular paper products. However, some coffee cups are made with a minimal amount of polyethylene, which makes them more easily recyclable.

Can Starbucks cups be recycled?

Starbucks cups are not recyclable in most areas. These cups are made from a combination of paper and plastic, which makes them difficult to recycle. However, Starbucks has made a commitment to transition to more sustainable packaging, including recyclable cups.