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Coffee shops – are they keeping their ‘eco’ promises? February 25, 2010

Filed under: Birmingham Recycled — Kellie Maddox @ 11:26 am
Tags: , ,

Inspired by Emma Dando’s latest findings re: Starbuck’s wasted water saga, I’ve had a look at their website ‘Starbucks Shared Planet’ and discovered their aims and policies regarding recycling in stores. But the last update on progress to meet its targets was 2008! So, what progress has been made in the last two years?

In terms of finding solutions for ‘Greener cups’, the company says:

Our goal is that by 2015 100 percent of our cups will be reusable or recyclable. To help achieve this goal, we’ve made the following commitments:

  • Developing and launching recyclable hot and cold cups by 2012
  • Reducing paper and plastic cup usage in our stores by 25 percent by using reusable mugs instead
  • Having recycling available in our stores
  • Re-establishing glassware or ceramic mugs as our global standard for our customers who enjoy their beverages in our stores
  • Converting all of our plastic cups to polypropylene in our stores in North America and Latin America, and Foodservice accounts by 2009

But has it achieved this or has any progress towards these goals been made? Since no information has been posted since 2008, I’m looking to ask the company what, if any, progress has been made and what their current waste and recycling ‘levels’/targets are in the UK.

Alongside this, I’m also curious to see what rivals Costa Coffee are doing to reduce their waste and improve recycling initiatives (I couldn’t find anything on the site about recycling cups). I’m looking to do a small survey on whether coffee shops are doing all they can to reduce waste. At our Costa in Birmingham City University, I’ve never been asked whether I want to drink my coffee in the cafe or ‘take it out’ – I’m always given a paper cup even if I sit at the table right next to the counter!

Has anyone else experienced this? My friend actually asked for a ceramic mug yesterday and was met by a look of disgust and a heavy sigh! Maybe she should have come with a tag – sorry for the inconvenience of the washing up this may cause. I’m quite intrigued to find out the company’s policy on the ‘in or out’ thing and whether employees actually should be asking all their customers their preference.

I’m on the case………thoughts/experiences/incidents of disapproving looks welcomed!

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6 Responses to “Coffee shops – are they keeping their ‘eco’ promises?”

  1. emmadando23 Says:

    Thanks for using me as an imspiration!haha.
    I’ve never noticed the ‘in or out’ thing until you just wrote it, I too have never been asked if I’m drinking in or drinking out. Therefore have always been given a paper cup.
    I think a survey is a great idea, and investigating Costa and Starbucks further is definately a good move. If you need help on the Starbucks front, let me know.

    • Thanks for your input Emma – I think lots of people at uni will probably say the same. It’s hassle enough as it is to get a drink never mind challenge what cup you get it in! Think I’m going to put out the feelers at coffee shops all over town and get people to respond to my ‘in or out request’!

      On the Starbucks front, power in numbers!

  2. “Developing and launching recyclable hot and cold cups by 2012”

    perhaps they are waiting another 2 years until you get an update Kel!

    And I agree, I think the look of disgust was down to the washing up situation.

    I wonder if you bought a flask, would they fill it wih coffee for you?

    • Well, I don’t really have 2 years to wait for a response so I hope they quick-march to it! I think a lot of it is down to individual stores themselves – it’s all good preaching but if staff aren’t practising then targets will never be met.

      I might try the flask thing – although I may never be able to buy coffee there again! Good story though – ‘Student banished from Costa Coffee for taking the piss’ lol

  3. […] coffee – mentioned in my earlier post, hoping to chase this one and get some answers re: their policies and progress with recyclable […]

  4. […] 2, 2010 Filed under: Birmingham Recycled — Kellie Maddox @ 10:49 pm Following on from my post last week re: coffee shops and their ‘eco’ promises, I’m hoping to dig a bit deeper into the […]


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