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 Starbucks Makes Controversial Choices About Recycling 
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Post Starbucks Makes Controversial Choices About Recycling
Starbucks Makes Controversial Choices About Recycling
by: Mark Ramos

Starbucks is the all-American coffee giant, so you think that they would be on board with the latest eco-friendly advancements, right? You may have to think again because Starbucks recently denied the request of customers to improve the recycling habits of this coffee franchise, yet many customers are not happy with the fact that guns are still allowed at select Starbucks locations.

Overall, Starbucks did not vote in favor of recycling changes, although 11% of Starbucks shareholders were actually in favor of this movement. This initiative was taken in the same manner that the recycling methods of Coca-Cola were recently altered for the better. It seems strange that Starbucks doesn't want to take this effort to recycle since they were recently targeted by the As You Sow Foundation to make these changes. AYS is a program that strives to promote corporate accountability by enforcing compliance with the Toxic Enforcement Act and California's Safe Drinking Water act. The success of this organization thus far has spread to settlements with more than 300 corporate companies to reformulate their products and remove any hazardous ingredients.

For this reason, AYS targeted Starbucks because they annually contribute to landfills in amounts of more than 3 billion coffee cups. Furthermore, their water brand, called Ethos Water, does not contain any recycled plastic, which is something that many other large water brands have started using. It seems that only Starbucks locations in the San Francisco Bay Area choose to fully recycle.

Starbucks' retaliation to these changes was that their cups are made of 10% post-consumer recycled fiber, which makes them compostable in many parts of the US. Starbucks also stated that up to 70% of their stores recycle a minimum of one type of waste, which they claim all depends upon the waste management in that area. That being said, Starbucks was recently questioned about their views on allowing guns within their stores, where they said that they will comply with local gun laws each area so that guns are not yet banned from any of their franchises.

The combination of these two recent developments may or may not change your point of view about Starbucks, though they are still the leading coffee giant in the United States. Right now, Starbucks has over 16,000 stores in more than 40 countries, and they are hoping to commit that all of their paper cups will be recyclable by 2012. The main issue that AYS is having with Starbucks, however, is that they do not have any recycling or collection goals for their 3 billion cups sold on a yearly basis, especially since the cups are hard to recycle because they are coated in a thin plastic.

Starbucks also seems to be behind many of their peers in the industry since they still sell beverages in plastic bottles, metal cans, and glass bottles. The company has not yet tried to use recycled materials for their plastic water bottles or promote better results in bottle recovery. We will see what the future holds for Starbucks and recycling.

About The Author
Mark Ramos is a coffee fanatic and owns The Coffee Bump. For a great selection in all things coffee and espresso machines, check out
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Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:03 am
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