“Executives have long suspected this day would come. Separately and together, they’ve been working on a more environmentally friendly alternative to the plastic-lined, double-walled, plastic-lidded paper cup for more than a decade. It hasn’t gone that well.” Bloomberg: First They Came for Plastic Bags. Coffee Cups Are Next. To give you an idea of the scope of the issue, Starbucks alone goes through about 6 billion cups a year. (This is one of the several reasons why I usually ask my barrista to deliver my coffee intravenously.)