Activists Take the Fight for Fair Food to Shareholder Meetings

The green straw is nearly iconic. Sticking out of a plastic cup filled with creamy coffee and swirls of chocolate, the straw says “Starbucks” almost as clearly as the coffee giant’s logo. Now, a group of shareholders is asking Starbucks to do away with its signature straw—and the environmental damage disposable plastics can cause.

On March 21, actor and activist Adrian Grenier asked Starbucks shareholders to vote for a proposal to phase out the use of these straws and make the company’s other packaging more easily recyclable. Investors representing 29 percent of Starbucks’ shares did just that. Facing such vocal advocacy, Starbucks is making some moves in this more sustainable direction. Even before the vote, the company announced a plan to invest $10 million in developing greener to-go cups.