Protest, petition delivery planned at Starbucks shareholder meeting; 884,000 people join global plastic pollution campaign

Protest, petition delivery planned at Starbucks shareholder meeting; 884,000 people join global plastic pollution campaign

Monday March 19, 2018

Coalition to deliver 884,000 petition signatures to Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson at annual meeting March 21 in Seattle

SEATTLE, WA — On Wednesday morning, members of the “Starbucks: Break Free From Plastic” coalition will protest outside Starbucks’ annual shareholder meeting and deliver petition signatures from the more than 884,000 people who are calling on the coffee giant to take responsibility for its contribution to the global plastic pollution crisis. (Learn more about the “Starbucks: Break Free From Plastic” campaign.)

Joining the coalition are the 12-foot-tall Cup Monster, people in trash and cup costumes, and two youth from Alberta who collected more than 273,000 petition signatures on Change.org

At the meeting, corporate responsibility group As You Sow will present a shareholder proposal requesting Starbucks to phase out its use of single-use plastic straws and fully realize its sustainability commitments put forward in 2008, which the company has failed to achieve. Starbucks is urging its shareholders to vote “no” on the proposal. (Details below.)

  • What: “Starbucks: Break Free From Plastic” protest and petition delivery
  • Where: Starbucks’ annual shareholder meeting, Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St, Seattle
  • Date: Wednesday, March 21
  • Time: Coalition members will be on site from 8-10 a.m.; petition delivery around 8:30 a.m. (Shareholders start lining up as early at 6 a.m., doors open at 8 a.m., meeting begins at 10 a.m.)
  • Visuals: 12-foot tall Cup Monster, people in trash and cup costumes, youth and coalition spokespeople delivering petition

Available for interview: 

  • Mya and Eve, 11-year-old concerned youth from Calgary, Alberta 
  • Shiloh Britt and Jon Chance, Stand.earth volunteers and former Starbucks baristas with a combined 15 years of experience
  • “Starbucks: Break Free From Plastic” spokespeople from 5 Gyres, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Stand.earth, and UPSTREAM

“We are concerned about pollution, climate change, ice melting, and polar bears becoming extinct. We created this petition because we wanted to add our voices to the movement so that we can help reduce waste and our use of plastic worldwide,” said Mya, one of two 11-year-old girls from Canada whose Change.org petition has garnered more than 273,000 signatures — and the support of bestselling author Margaret Atwood.

“Like most Starbucks baristas, one of my favorite parts of the job was connecting with customers — people who care about the environment, about climate change, about plastic pollution, about the company’s values. And they desperately want Starbucks to do the right thing,” said Shiloh Britt, a Stand.earth volunteer and former Starbucks barista in Bellingham, WA. “In my five years as a Starbucks barista, I personally served an estimated 65,000 cups. When will Starbucks keep its decade-old promise to make a 100% recyclable cup and use its scale for good?”

About “Starbucks: Break Free From Plastic”

More than a dozen leading environmental organizations launched the global “Starbucks: Break Free From Plastic” coalition earlier this month, demanding that Starbucks take accountability for its contribution to the growing plastic pollution crisis. Sign the petition at: https://mobilize4change.org/starbucks

The coalition formed ahead of Starbucks’ 2018 annual shareholder meeting, where the coffee giant is urging its shareholders to vote “no” on a sustainability proposal by As You Sow. The proposal asks Starbucks to address its plastic pollution problem by developing stronger efforts to move toward sustainable packaging. View As You Sow’s argument in favor of the proposal.

The coalition includes 5 Gyres, Care2, Clean Water Action, CREDO, Change.org, Greenpeace USA, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Stand.earth, The Story of Stuff Project, SumOfUs, Texas Campaign for the Environment, UPSTREAM, Hannah4Change, Captain Planet Foundation, Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation, Plastik Diet Kantong, Heirs to Our Oceans, Wild at Heart Taiwan, Jack Johnson’s All At Once community, StudentPIRGS, Project Coyote, and a variety of organizations participating under the Break Free From Plastic global movement. 

Follow the coalition on social media using #StarbucksTrash and #BreakFreeFromPlastic.

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Media contact: Virginia Cleaveland, Stand.earth, virginia@stand.earth, 510-858-9902