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  • Mara

Peace, Love, Coffee. Greenwashing?

Going green in terms of making sustainable choices is something almost everyone comes across nowadays. I feel like especially social media has a huge impact on this, which is probably one of the reasons why the younger generation feels attracted to these values.

So of course, for companies to stay en vogue, they have to follow the trend.

Starbucks, as an international operating Company, is not excluded from this movement.

I had seen them produce tumblers before and also offering about 20ct reduction per drink if you bring your own cup. But when I walked in now, I saw them producing fancy reusable cups, stating “Peace, Love, Coffee”.

To be honest, I love the design and I also like the Caption. But when thinking about it.. I’m not so sure anymore.

Starbucks claims to want to produce all of its coffee organically in the near future, having joined an initiative to make coffee the first sustainably sourced agricultural product. While this sound amazing.. I am not too sure how much of this actually has an impact, and how much it is Starbucks trying to achieve a conscious reputation while actually greenwashing.

Their tumbler anyways is reusable, I also find it quite easy to clan. It fits up to a grande coffee and it also is quite spill-proof. It is made from 100% plastic though, at least Starbucks hasn’t stated otherwise. Also, it is not recycled or anything. Just a good old reusable plastic cup. It is quite cheap though, what could also be argued that it is therefore accessible for more people compared to a 20€ tumbler, but I guess people who can afford to go to this coffee shop should also be able to afford a 20€ investment.

So thats the cup it self, but what actually made me think was the quote.

Sticking with the issue of cups, while researching it struck me that actually every country seem to have different strategies of dealing with it. This makes me wonder why, but still everything i have read so far isn’t enough by far. They only address the cups themselves, but don’t ever speak about the lids or straws. also, they seem to think that sleeves made from less paper is the perfect solution. It is not. And have you ever seen reusable coffee sleeves at Starbucks? I know they exist.. but not from them.

Also, what about the cups that are solely made from plastic? I couldn’t find any specific information about whether they might be made from recycled plastic, but I guess not.

Further, I do know that straws exist that are compostable. Why then still provide single use straws made from conventional plastic?

To deal with this, I also know that Starbucks has a different type of lids in Vancouver f.e., which makes it easy to drink your cold drink without a straw. Not ideal, but a little progress.

Having a look at their food on the other hand.. sure, the muffins, cookies, cakes etc. are given out in paper (which can be debated about whether it is sustainable or not), but all of the other food that you can grab yourself is wrapped in plastic. While it may be for hygienic reasons, I am absolutely positive that there is a better solution to this.

So overall, I think that perhaps this company could a little more In all of our future and think deeper, not just scratch the base.

Especially before putting words like peace and love up on a cup, they should perhaps have a little brainstorming about whether they actively contribute to love and peace or perhaps, on long term, might be part of the cause of us loosing exactly these values.

If you have any deeper insight other that what activist websites or Starbucks itself claims on their website, I’d actually love to read more about it!



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