November 19, 2019

The true story of why Jamba Juice replaced their polystyrene cups


Demonstrating the powerful effect of consumers on major national brands

The true story of why Jamba Juice replaced their polystyrene cups – In 2012, a fifth grader named Mia Hansen walked into a Jamba Juice, ordered her favorite drink, and received a cold juice smoothie enclosed in a white, polystyrene foam cup. She immediately piped up to her mother, concerned about the cup’s impact on ocean animals.

Mia decided to start a petition on with a simple message: Styrofoam is bad for the environment and harmful to animals. Let’s ask Jamba Juice to stop using polystyrene cups. The crazy thing is, Jamba did exactly that.


Customers driving change

The goal of Mia’s petition was simple; other Jamba Juice locations had already switched away from using polystyrene cups. For example, Seattle’s local government passed a ban on EPS in 2008, forcing companies like Jamba Juice to find eco-friendly alternatives. What would it take for Jamba Juice to replace polystyrene cups with more sustainable options at all their locations?

130,000 people signed the petition via, giving considerable power to the simple dream of a young, but passionate customer. The success of the petition put Jamba Juice in a precarious position between acquiescing and implementing more sustainable replacements or sticking with cheap polystyrene material.


Jamba makes the switch

Within 3 weeks, Jamba Juice responded to the consumer outcry. They publicly committed to eliminating polystyrene cups and containers from their stores across the country and promised to switch to environmentally sound alternatives by the end of 2013. Jamba also reached out to Mia herself, speaking with her on the phone and with a letter informing her of their sustainable intentions.

“As a company with a strong concern for people and the planet,” stated James White, CEO of Jamba, Inc., “We continually seek to improve our environmental footprint across all areas of our business, and…this is a major milestone in these efforts.” Jamba Juice made an immediate switch to a more sustainable double-walled paper cup solution and successfully removed all polystyrene waste from their supply chain.


The power of one passionate consumer

“Can you believe it??!!! We Won!!!,” writes a jubilant Hansen in a follow-up post. It seems incredible that one person could generate such a significant impact in such a way. Yet her story represents a remarkable tale of hope and opportunity for consumers to influence companies towards making environmentally conscious decisions.


Jamba Juice replaced their polystyrene cups


Consumer views inspire environmental policy, which compels companies to switch materials. Seattle’s polystyrene ban in 2008 pushed Jamba to find a replacement locally and public support for the alternative stimulated change on the national level.


Consumers cry out for sustainability

A 2018 Forbes article captures the powerful momentum of the sustainability movement. According to a survey by Futerra, 96% of people believe that they can make a difference by recycling and making buyer decisions with ethics and the environment in mind.

The attention is now firmly on businesses to improve their sustainability. Futerra reports that 88% of consumers would like their brands to participate in environmentally sound practices. “Consumers around the world are making adjustments in their shopping habits,” states a Nielsen article, “they’re looking for companies to step up.”

As the momentum of the environmental movement builds, the impetus for companies to change their practices and update to better materials grows stronger. More and more, consumers are utilizing their buying power to affect change at the highest level. Being sustainable in the eyes of the public can make or break a brand.

While some companies fear the shifting landscape others view it as a tremendous chance for growth. “Sustainability has become an urgent opportunity for companies to connect with consumers who are excited about change,” explains Regan Leggett, the Executive Director of Thought Leadership and Foresight at Nielsen. And many businesses, like Jamba Juice, have profited off of their sustainable practices, aligning themselves with consumers instead of running away from the future.


Be the change

EPE’s proven sustainable packaging solutions have successfully replaced polystyrene material across a variety of industries. We design optimized packaging solutions capable of higher performance and improved sustainability by leveraging innovative engineering and better materials.

Consumers are calling for businesses to adapt to a changing world. Governments across the United States are passing bans on polystyrene and other unsustainable plastic packaging. All signs point to companies switching to more environmentally friendly solutions.

EPE is leading the way. Our engineering capabilities allow us to design optimized packaging solutions for a specific product and supply chain. This allows for greater cost efficiencies during shipping, higher protective performance and a significantly lower environmental impact.

Make the switch. Talk to one of our packaging professionals today and replace your polystyrene with more sustainable solutions.



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