Starbucks to Switch to 100% Biodegradable Cups and Lids
Plastic pollution is a serious environmental concern. There will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. A piece of plastic is life-threatening to marine life. Many marine animals get caught in plastic bags and suffocate to death. Others accidentally swallow bits of plastic that get caught in their digestive system. This usually occurs because of microplastics, pieces of ocean trash that are degraded by the sun and work their way into the food chain. After microplastics degrade (which takes over 400 years), they release harmful chemicals into the ocean.
The business sector is at the forefront to stop this environmental crisis. Starbucks uses 8,181 non-biodegradable paper cups a minute, on average, forcing 1.8 million trees to be cut down annually. Every year, Starbucks hands out more than 4 billion single-use cups. Starbucks plans to open a new store in China every 15 minutes. That means millions more single-use and non-biodegradable cups created and polluting our oceans.
Starbucks pledged that they would use 25% renewable cups by 2015. They have yet to release these cups and only 1.6% of the drinks they sell are in non-disposable cups. This is not right. They need to be held accountable.
“Starbucks and Our Plastic Pollution Problem.” Clean Water Action, December 27, 2019. https://www.cleanwateraction.org/features/starbucks-and-our-plastic-pollution-problem.
Image: Viswanathan, Radhika. “Why Starbucks, Disney, and the EU Are All Shunning Plastic Straws.” Vox. Vox, June 25, 2018. https://www.vox.com/2018/6/25/17488336/plastic-straw-ban-ocean-pollution.