Starbucks Generates An Astronomical Amount Of Waste–Can It Stop?

A decade ago, facing growing complaints about the number of its cups ending up in the trash, Starbucks promised that it would make 100% of its cups reusable or recyclable by 2015. But today, most of its paper cups are still going to landfills. A second goal, to serve 25% of its drinks in reusable containers by 2015, was quietly lowered to 5% in 2011. It didn’t reach even that goal: only 1.4% of drinks are served in reusable containers now. The company also uses millions of Starbucks-branded green plastic straws.

At the company’s shareholder meeting today, Adrian Grenier, the actor, filmmaker, and leader of a campaign against plastic straws that successfully advocated for a straw ban in Starbucks’ hometown of Seattle, is presenting a shareholder resolution asking the company to develop a more aggressive plan to meet its original goal of 100% recycling rate for its cups, and to scale up and report on a comprehensive, global sustainable packaging policy.