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Dunkin’ Donuts Tests Recyclable Plastic Cups

Dunkin’ Donuts, looking to phase out its signature foam cups, is testing recyclable-plastic versions to see if they can withstand temperatures of 200 degrees Fahrenheit while helping preserve the environment.

Stores recently started using polypropylene hot-coffee cups in about 100 locations in New York, Vermont, Massachusetts and California, Scott Murphy, chief supply chain officer at Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., parent of the business, said in a telephone interview. Dunkin’ will probably make a decision on a foam cup alternative next year and begin a nationwide introduction in 2016, he said.

“Consumers want a more environmentally friendly product,” Murphy said yesterday. “But they don’t want to sacrifice the performance of the current foam cup.”

Dunkin’ said in its 2012 corporate responsibility report that it would find an alternative to foam within two to three years. About a year ago, it began testing a double-walled paper cup in restaurants in Brookline in its home state of Massachusetts, after the city banned polystyrene food containers. In July, fifth-grade students called on Dunkin’ to get rid of foam cups, delivering a petition to its headquarters in Canton.

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