Starbucks, you need to change

Dear Starbucks,

You need to look at one of your franchised stores. Their behaviour is wasteful and wrong.

I went into your coffee shop and asked for a white chocolate mocha, and stated loudly that I wanted to drink in. The barista picked up a takeaway cup and asked for my name.

“Ohh no, to drink in please,”, I said.

“Our dishwasher is broken. We can’t wash up by hand so it’s in take away cups”.

Oh. Dear. But I understood that if the dishwasher wasn’t working, they couldn’t simply clean mugs by hand. I have worked in eating and drinking establishments so know that the washing temperature needs to be a certain number of degrees for hygiene reasons.

I asked for the drink without a plastic lid. There was enough damage in the fact I was about to use a disposable cup.  It was damaging as it was most probably sent to landfill, owing to the fact rubbish was collected up with everything else in a plastic bin liner and generally likely because of the paper and plastic combination which makes it difficult to recycle.

“No, I have to put a lid on”. I refused it and said that I would be taken it off within a second of getting it as I was drinking in the store. He said he had to due to health and safety. This contradicts your stores’ general policy towards the environment.  Your brand’s general policy towards reducing, re-using and recycling are very good.  I particularly like the encouragement of re-using your own mugs and discount because of this.

I imagined he may be a new employee and perhaps misunderstood an instruction from his superior. This person continued serving others so my drink was made by another barista. Just as she was about to put the lid on, I said “don’t bother putting a lid on”. She, too, stated she HAD to do it, put a lid on, and gave it to me. I immediately removed the lid.

What a waste? Why? Starbucks sort this out because it is harming your reputation. Remember the PR disaster a few years ago when you were wasting water. Many of your stores left the tap constantly running. For a long time I will not be using your stores and encourage others to follow suit.

Imagine if the same situation that happened to me happened to the thousands and thousands of customers you serve every day. That’s thousands and thousands of plastic lids wasted.  It may seem like a drop in the ocean but think of it as a chain.  If an individual’s behaviour changes, then society’s can change.

Please ensure that all stores understand that they shouldn’t be so wasteful.


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