Chick-fil-A's Styrofoam Switch-Up Is Causing Major Controversy!

D.M. - Author

Nov. 28 2023, Published 10:24 p.m. ET

Beloved chicken spot Chick-fil-A has joined the fight against environmental pollution. The company has replaced its classic Styrofoam cups with a paper alternative. However, not everyone is happy about that change and some customers have taken to social media to express their outrage.

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The change, which was announced in May, marks a positive shift towards an eco-friendly substitute. Styrofoam is notorious for its environmental impact. According to the Public Interest Research Group, expanded Polystyrene foam can take centuries to break down, leaving harmful chemicals in its wake. “Polystyrene foam can break down into smaller and smaller pieces called microplastics, which are now being discovered polluting every corner of the Earth,” says the PIRG.

A man carries he drink outside a Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant in Hollywood, Calif. on Aug. 1, 2012.
Source: Getty Images
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Aleesha Thomas (@aleesha.thomas) shared her concern in a video posted to TikTok, detailing the disappointment she felt when she received a paper cup with her Chick-fil-A meal. “I had to pull over because I’m distraught,” Aleesha said. “Where is my Styrofoam cup?”

Various fast-food chains have been making strides toward more sustainable packaging, responding to both customer expectations and growing concerns about the environment. Chick-fil-A seems to be determined to be on the right side of history. The company’s new double-layered paper cup is recyclable and is made of sustainably sourced materials. It also has an insulated sleeve and is said to reduce condensation.

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Chick-fil-A customers are distraught over the change.

Chick-fil-A has found itself in hot water as it discontinues its signature Styrofoam cups. The decision to part ways with these iconic cups has sparked a wave of discontent among loyal patrons who are taking to social media to voice their displeasure. The recent shift away from the classic Styrofoam cups has left some customers feeling a sense of loss.

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Aleesha’s disappointment was echoed by others on TikTok, who suggested that they specifically chose to eat at Chick-fil-A because of the Styrofoam cups. “I drive out of my way to get a CFA drink because of the Styrofoam cup,” one person exclaimed.

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Another customer suggested that the shift marks the end of an era. Arguing that the change to a more generic cup strays away from the distinctiveness that set Chick-fil-A apart from other fast-food restaurants.

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However, there were many who supported the change. Some customers appreciate the company's willingness to adapt and make choices that contribute positively to the planet.

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Chick-fil-A joins other companies that have said goodbye to Styrofoam.

By making the change to paper cups, Chick-fil-A is aligning with global efforts to reduce plastic waste and positioning itself alongside others in the fast-food industry. McDonald’s committed to ditching foam packaging globally in 2019, according to Business Insider. The company has also committed to using 100 percent recycled fiber materials wrappings, containers, and trays at the famed burger joint.

McDonalds logo captured in its Letzipark restaurant on Nov. 13, 2023.
Source: Getty Images

Dunkin’ Donuts also bid farewell to their classic white Styrofoam cups, after facing mounting criticism from customers, per CNBC. “Transitioning away from foam has been a critical goal for Dunkin’ Donuts U.S.,” said Karen Raskopf, Dunkin’s chief communications officer She also said, “We will be able to offer a replacement that meets the needs and expectations of both our customers and the communities we serve.”

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