A symbol of waste. That’s how Starbucks’ Chief Sustainability Officer, Michael Kobori, referred to the company’s disposable cups.
Changing customer behavior is difficult. It took years to get people to carry reusable water bottles or shopping bags. Toting a coffee mug around in case you stop at Starbucks has not become normalized behavior for those who like their coffee on the go.
Starbucks knows that reducing 20% of their waste globally is a big challenge. Being transparent about the problem is a smart way to start looking for solutions. Testing in specific markets has also been a key in discovering widely-applicable ideas.
Like many of us, Starbucks does not have the perfect solution to eliminate single-use cups.
But they are talking about it publicly.
You can start a conversation, too, about changes you want to see that will reduce carbon emissions in your community.