So I went into a Starbucks recently, really just to have a place to sit and work. As you may know, I don’t drink coffee so I opted for a tall green tea instead. I ordered my drink and requested “No plastic lid please” as I am doing my best to reduce my plastic waste. The lady reached for a lid as I repeated “no lid, no lid please!” At that point, all the staff began to explain to me that “it’s a safety issue for the staff and consumer” and they HAVE TO give you a plastic lid so you don’t burn yourself… Really? So, I can’t order a cold drink because it’s in a plastic cup, but I can’t order a hot drink either because I cannot refuse the lid? And you know what’s more dangerous? Trying to remove the lid to let your drink cool because it’s too hot. If you’ve ever tried to take the lid off without spilling and burning yourself you know it’s more difficult than just carrying a cup sans lid. And if you’re that worried about spillage, maybe just don’t fill it so full when someone requests “no lid”.
So, Starbucks, you’re putting hot beverages into a container topped with a plastic lid which the consumer cannot refuse which leaches toxic chemicals into their drink, pollutes oceans, kills millions of marine life, and poisons us again after we eat contaminated fish, which is all totally preventable? Okay, just checking.
As a natural born Washingtonian, I am appalled that a Washinton based company like Starbucks doesn’t do more to protect their consumers and oceans. Just think of all the lids, cups and straws that enter our oceans and landfills just due to Starbucks ALONE. And think of all the millions, no, billions of dollars they make. Don’t you think they can afford to invest in biodegradable “plastics”? After all, it’s not like they don’t exist already.
So what can we do? Tell them. Tweet them. Express your concern to your local barista, or better yet, stop supporting them and tell them why. Companies listen. I mean, how do you think they started offering stevia or coconut milk? It’s because people started complaining. People voted with their dollar and said: “I’m not spending my money at a place that pollutes for profit.”
Even as I write this, while thousands of companies have their environmental pledge listed on their website, Starbucks doesn’t. Because they have no environmental pledge. They don’t care AT ALL. They do however have a page where you can submit your ideas… so I challenge you to submit an idea that they switch to all “social plastic” (recycled plastics) or bioplastics. It will take less than a minute and could make a huge difference. It’s the least we can do.
I’m sorry this post went off on a tangent, but I think it’s the little things that build up and it’s the big companies that make the most pollution and also the most progress if they so choose.
Thank you for reading.