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Recyclers and zero-waste advocates debunk Starbucks’ claims that new lid will be “recycled”
In an effort to quell growing concerns about Starbucks wasteful packaging. The company just announced fanfare that it would phase out plastic straws. Then they would replace them with “recyclable” plastic lids. In fact, the same type of plastic Starbucks claims is “recyclable” is being sent to landfills across the nation. In addition they also are shipping to countries like Malaysia or Vietnam. This is where it becomes pollution. Starbucks’ claims about #5 plastics to be ‘widely recycled’ are bankrupt, These comments came from Stiv Wilson. Stiv is the Director of Campaigns at the Story of Stuff Project. This incredible attention to a single product isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, it isn’t quite a good thing either. We need a systemic change in how the world makes, uses, and disposes of the most ubiquitous material in commerce today. Hereby, plastic.
Therefore, companies like Starbucks are increasingly under fire for their contribution to the plastic pollution crisis. They have primarily relied on recycling as the solution to their wasteful packaging. Even despite its many flaws. As a result, the US is sending even larger quantities of “recyclable” plastic to China. Therefore, causing the tremendous environmental damage that led the country to close its doors. Now the US has started sending its plastic waste to other countries in Asia, sparking these countries to enact similar bans and restrictions.
In fact, we cannot rely on a recycling system that is failing in the U.S. It is also and ironically facing bans overseas. Therefore, it will make the problem worse. To date, only 9% of all plastic ever created got recycled. Hence, it’s time for companies to move beyond flashy PR moves. They must start significantly reducing their production of plastic. As well, they must invest in reuse alternatives.
In many of the countries Starbucks has stores, there is little to no recycling infrastructure. Not only do Starbucks’ branded straws, hot cups, cold cups, and lids show up in beach cleanups, according to the global trash app, Litterati, Starbucks branded products are easily in the top three of brands identified globally, if not number one.
With that in mind, the #breakfreefromplastic movement invites Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson to visit the communities in Southeast Asia. You know, the ones most affected by the plastic waste. The ones created by companies headquartered in the global north. Hence, the types of plastic pollution we’re seeing in Southeast Asia produced by global corporations headquartered in North America and Europe. That comment. came from Break Free From Plastic’s Global Coordinator Von Hernandez.
In conclusion, the deceptiveness of industry’s recycling pledges is hampering progress. Progress towards real solutions to the plastic crisis. Monica Wilson, Research and Policy Director at GAIA, stated this. Most noteworthy, call on Starbucks to be responsible. Responsible for its own products and packaging. Finally and most importantly to stop pretending plastic flooding markets is actually getting recycled.
Source: Press Release and for Immediate Release, July 25, 2018
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