Thursday, August 2, 2012

Starbucks has joined the K-Cups garbage brigade

Why do companies that I have used and respected - and which have environmental policies for recycling - have to provide more opportunities for their customers to generate trash, which ultimately will end up in the great garbage patch of the Pacific?
K-cups may be convenient, but you are drinking a bit of plastic every time you brew in them. And when you're done, they are in no way recyclable.
Here's what Starbucks says about Recycling & Reducing Waste:
Starbucks is committed to significantly reducing and diverting the waste our stores generate, and recycling is just one way in which we do this. But while recycling seems like a simple, straightforward initiative, it’s actually extremely challenging. Not only are there municipal barriers to successful recycling in many cities, but it takes significant changes in behavior to get it right. One wrong item in a recycle bin can render the entire can unrecyclable to the hauler. Local municipalities, landlords, customers, baristas, and even adjacent businesses all have to work together to keep recyclable materials out of the landfill.
Why, then, do they join up with Green Mountain Coffee to generate more waste (that they evidently don't think they are responsible for disposing)? Maybe they should provide a "take-back" bag with each box of K-cups, that customers can return where they bought it. Or maybe they should ensure that the K-cups can be composted along with their contents? Otherwise Starbucks, along with Green Mountain Coffee and others, is just adding to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.