McDonald's and Starbucks New Cup | Rahny Taylor Morning Show

Two of the world's biggest companies just teamed up to help reduce waste in a pretty big way.

McDonald's and Starbucks announced a joint effort this week to come up with a new type of fully compostable cup.  Meaning they wouldn't just biodegrade, they'd also provide nutrients to the earth while breaking down in the soil.

Starbucks actually launched the program earlier this year.  And now McDonald's is joining as a founding member.

They're holding a contest where people and companies can submit ideas starting in September.  Then they'll pick the best ones, and start funding the research.

They're planning to choose as many as seven different ideas, and throw up to a million dollars at each one to see how they pan out.

If one of them DOES work, it would be a big deal.  Because globally, we throw out about 600 BILLION single-use cups every year.  And McDonald's and Starbucks alone are responsible for about 25 billion of them.

Then the idea is if THEY start using compostable cups, the rest of the food industry should follow suit. 

(Fast Company / Starbucks)

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