Old news is still bad news for Starbucks.

06 Oct

The great drain robbery | The Sun |News

Have a looksee at that, dear reader. It may be tabloid sensationalism but it is still pretty shocking all the same. (I haven’t read the Sun in years, and to be honest the simplicity of the language in it surprised me more than the content of the article – but I admit I am turning into an Guardian-reading intellectual snob very quickly!)

So, they leave taps running constantly so that “germs do not breed in the tap”. Riiight. It makes me wonder why the person who came up with that is allowed out in public really. I thought nowadays, there was help for people with that level of germ-phobic OCD.
Flippancy aside, it does defy logic. Does anyone who turns a tap off at home then risk catching … I dunno, typhoid (?) from all these evil bugs in the taps? What about bugs breeding in the constant puddle of water that must collect in the sinks under these taps? Are Starbucks now going to be responsible for a UK outbreak of malaria?

If you extend this train of thought though, what about the other machinery in a coffee shop which use water? Are the dish washers to be in constant use, in case water stagnates in the pipes at the back of them? And what about the coffee machine itself? Those are plumbed directly into the mains, and water is drawn into the tank and heated until it is used in coffee. As the tank empties, more water is drawn into it. Presumably even Starbucks closes for a few hours a day – to stop germs breeding inside the coffee machine, minimum-wage baristas should be employed 24/7 to continually pull water through the tank! Just in case!

Ye Gads, people….

All coffee shops have a lot of waste, mostly organic waste too. Everything from water waste (even without idiotic policies like that, there is still a lot of waste water; at our Durham Caffe Nero, we had to hand wash dishes, and then put them through the glass rinse as well to make sure – we did not have room for an industrial dishwasher!) – to waste coffees when the baristas made mistakes, to branded packaging, to throwing out un-sold sandwiches and pastries that are still perfectly edible, to wasting 10-15 kg of used coffee grounds per shop, per day – which could all be composted but usually ends up in landfill. All these forms of waste are usually an accepted, or at least, unquestioned part of coffee shop life.They only become an issue – they are only labelled as ‘Waste’ with all the word’s negative connotations, when people outside the coffee shop become aware of it. For those working there, it’s just ‘what you do.’

For example, here Starbucks Responds To Water Waste Criticism In China
– it is the same issue, someone found out about Starbucks leaving the taps running all day, criticised the company in the media, and Starbucks then tries to justify it with their imbecilic healthy and safety policy. But more significantly, LOOK AT THE DATE OF THE ARTICLE: October 2007. The Sun’s expose is not actually a new revelation, but more significantly, it means that Starbucks have carried on wasting this water, even though there were public concerns about the issue a full year ago.

For me, the issue is not just the unjustifiable, unethical waste of water, it’s the fact that Starbucks are so big, they think they are beyond criticism. They continue with their wasteful practices because the company is arrogant enough not to take any heed of the views of its customers. I avoid Starbucks anyway, but I am in the minority. If what I’ve written here has affected you – vote with your wallet. Just don’t go there!!



Oo, guess what? They’ve decided there might just be other ways to wash things up other than leaving taps running…

That’s big of them…

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Posted by on October 6, 2008 in Uncategorized


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