• Steven Hoag

Seattle protestors build massive wall of cups to protest Starbucks recycling policy

Updated: May 21

Stand.earth, a Bellingham-based group, used almost 10,000 cups to build a giant monster and wall in Sodo to protest Starbucks' alleged lack of environmentally-friendly cups.

"(Starbucks) uses 8,000 cups a minute, every minute of every day of every year. Eight-thousand cups are going in the landfill because in most places around the world, Starbucks cups are not recyclable,“ said Jim Ace, Corporate Campaigner at Stand.earth.

According to the group, the cups are not recyclable thanks to their plastic lining, which interferes with the recycling process.

Starbucks quickly fired back with a statement that read:

"Contrary to what the activist group is claiming, Starbucks hot cup is recyclable in Seattle as well as other cities where coffee cups can be recycled. To that end, SPU even includes an image of our cup on their flier for what can be recycled in the city. The protest taking place in front of our Seattle headquarters this morning is misguided and intentionally ignores the fact that Starbucks hot cup is recyclable, as well as the realities and complexity of recycling in our country. To read our full response to the organization please visit our Starbucks Newsroom."

It remains to be seen if Starbucks will adopt new manufacturing processes, as this is not the first time concerns have been raised about its environmental policies. Earlier this year, CNN came to the same conclusion as Stand.earth.

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