Environmental Campaign Against Starbucks Escalates with Launch of Satirical Video

Environmental Campaign Against Starbucks Escalates with Launch of Satirical Video

Thursday December 01, 2016

Environmental Campaign Against Starbucks Escalates with Launch of Satirical Video

Seattle - Today, Stand.earth, the environmental advocacy group leading the campaign to persuade Starbucks to make a recyclable paper cup, released a satirical video by Erika Share, former Senior Editor at The Onion and Anthony Easton, former managing editor of ClickHole.

“Starbucks cuts down trees just for me”

The short video introduces the world to “Spencer,” an exceptional hipster who delights in the specialness of single-use paper cups that can never be recycled. It offers a twisted take on the reality of the current state of consumerism in the hot beverage industry.

Stand.earth’s campaign is pushing Starbucks to make good on the company’s 8-year old commitment to make their disposable cups recyclable - a commitment which has yet to be realized. 

In 2008 Starbucks acknowledged that its cups were a problem and pledged to create a solution. The company committed to make its cups recyclable and to serve more customers with  reusable cups. They set ambitious goals for 2012 and failed, then pushed the deadline to 2015, made no changes to their cups, then seemed to drop their commitment entirely. 

Starbucks serves more than four billion paper cups annually. Recyclable alternatives exist - in fact Starbucks tested one earlier this year in England, but the company continues to avoid taking real responsibility for the environmental impact of the over 8,000 paper cups it serves every minute, the vast majority of which end up in the trash.

The BetterCup campaign demands that Starbucks:

  • Recommit to 100% recyclable cups: Did you know that a Starbucks paper cup isn’t just made out of paper? The inside of the cup is coated with plastic. That plastic coating can gum up paper recycling machines, so most recycling companies won’t process the cups. Serving a cup that could be recycled with standard paper would be a simple solution to this problem and would save over 8,000+ cups a minute from going into landfills.
  • Recommit to 25% re-use: Reusable mugs are the most responsible approach, yet Starbucks serves fewer than 2% of its hot drinks in reusable mugs. It’s time for Starbucks to get serious and provide better incentives to help customers make the switch. In 2012, Starbucks  committed to 25% more coffee being served in reusable mugs. It’s time to bring back washable, reusable mugs for customers who are staying in the store to help meet this goal.

Solutions to all of these challenges are possible, and Starbucks is the type of innovative company to develop them.  But the company needs to step up and take meaningful action.

The release of the new video comes on the heels of last month’s protest in Seattle over the release of Starbucks’ annual red holiday cup. Customers in Seattle were greeted by a 12 foot high coffee cup. Stand.earth estimates that as many as 580 million red holiday cups could end up in the trash. In the past year Stand.earth also built a wall made out of 8,000+ Starbucks cups in front of the company’s headquarters in Seattle and made a splash at Emerald City Comicon where attendees were greeted by the group’s cartoon character, Super Mermaid.  

For more information, download the Starbucks Cups Destroy Forests report and visit www.BetterCup.earth

And see our new video.