Starbucks Will Never Be Zero Waste-Friendly.
By Sawyer Morton.
I love Starbucks as much as the next person, but like most billion-dollar companies based off of good ‘ole American consumption, it comes with a large environmental cost. Unfortunately, Starbuck’s newest efforts to go eco-friendlier seems to be more of a marketing ploy than an actual Zero Waste solution. Many businesses have seemed to crack down on plastic straw use as #Starbucks recently has stated that their company will begin to replace all straws in cold drinks (apart from the Frappuccino) by 2020, and instead replace them with a recyclable plastic lid that resembles an adult sippy cup. Starbucks has stated that in turn, 1 billion straws will be eliminated.
And while this idea might make the average American feel better about their daily consumption habits, the overall effect is minimal. First, by adding a new lid, there is clearly no reduction in the production of plastic. And secondly, Starbucks is failing to see environmental issues in the big picture- a trap that many Zero Wasters fall into.
Too often I see “green” companies or “green” bloggers emphasize plastic or recyclable packaging instead of, for example, the energy and petroleum used to ship millions of pounds of coffee beans, or the disposable cups baristas use to measure. With the Zero Waste movement, there is a consensus on packaging, but what should also be emphasized is local economies over global, and small businesses over large corporations.
With all of this in mind, my honest opinion is just to skip Starbucks when you can. Go to the local shop that lets you bring your own cup. You’ll feel better seeing your money flourish in your local community and supporting real consumption habits that will lead to a better environment.
Written by Sawyer Morton
**Note from editor: No straws or cups were used in the creation of this article. All non-captioned images used in this article are stock photos released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0.