Environmental Campaign Against Starbucks Escalates at Annual Shareholder Meeting

Environmental Campaign Against Starbucks Escalates at Annual Shareholder Meeting

Wednesday March 22, 2017

Giant Cup Monster Greets Shareholders in Downtown Seattle, Activists Promote Environmental Accountability Inside Meeting

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Contact: Ross Hammond, ross@stand.earth, tel. 415-559-5082
Kristi Chester Vance, kristi@stand.earth, tel. 415-902-5885

Environmental Campaign Against Starbucks Escalates at Annual Shareholder Meeting

Giant Cup Monster Greets Shareholders in Downtown Seattle, Activists Promote Environmental Accountability Inside Meeting

Seattle - Today, Stand.earth, the environmental group pressuring Starbucks to make a 100% recyclable paper cup, organized a colorful protest outside the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Seattle and directly challenged Starbucks leadership inside the meeting. A giant “Cup Monster” made of more than 1,000 Starbucks cups, along with protesting mermaids, greeted the thousands of shareholders in attendance. Police prevented activists from erecting a 90-foot wall composed of 8,000 Starbucks cups in front of the meeting, despite the fact that they were on public property.

Inside the meeting, Stand.earth’s Executive Director directly confronted Starbucks management for its failure to keep their promise to make a recyclable cup. He also proposed a resolution to make Starbucks far more accountable to its shareholders by making the election of the Board of Directors more democratic.

Starbucks serves over four billion disposable cups a year -- over over 8,000 every minute -- the vast majority of which end up in landfills because they’re not recyclable in most facilities. In 2008 Starbucks promised it would use only 100% recycled AND recyclable cups, and serve 25% of its drinks in reusable mugs. The company has not delivered on these commitments.

“In 2008 Starbucks promised the world that it would serve a recyclable paper cup. Nine years later, we’re still waiting” said Todd Paglia, Executive Director of Stand.earth. “Starbucks has a history of taking action on issues that matter to it. So the question is, when will the company decide that its environmental impact matters? If any company in the world can operate without destroying forests and creating mountains of waste, it’s Starbucks,” said Paglia.

Photos of the protest are available here.

“There are coffee shops serving coffee in recyclable cups today. In fact, the second largest coffee chain in the world, Costa Coffee, is testing a recyclable cup right now. The technology exists. What is stopping Starbucks from leading on recyclability instead of dragging its feet for nearly a decade?” said Paglia.

Over the last year Stand.earth has campaigned to convince Starbucks to make a #BetterCup, including the release of a report detailing the company’s failed efforts, building a wall made out of 8,000+ Starbucks cups in front of the company’s headquarters in Seattle, a protest in downtown Seattle with a 12 foot high coffee cup, an appearance at at Emerald City Comicon where attendees were greeted by the group’s cartoon character, Super Mermaid and the release of videos produced by a former Senior Editor at The Onion: one satirizing the company’s use of virgin trees and another on the failure of the company to fulfill its promises. 

For more information visit www.BetterCup.earth and follow the campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #BetterCup