Tell Starbucks to Close its Toronto Pick-Up Store

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On February 4, 2020, Starbucks Coffee opened a new pick-up store in downtown Toronto, Ontario (Canada). This store, which doesn't have any physical seating, is meant for customers to pick up beverages which were pre-ordered & paid for using Starbucks' mobile app. While customers may still order and pay in person, a Starbucks spokeswoman stated that "this is not the optimal experience" for the store.

Pre-ordering a drink, which is then prepared before the customer arrives at the store, removes the opportunity to use a reusable coffee mug. A storefront model meant to serve a pre-ordering system encourages consumers to use disposable cups.

At least 1 billion Starbucks coffee cups are distributed each year (according to Starbucks' estimates). Back in 2008, Starbucks pledged to have 100% of its cups be either reusable or recyclable by 2015. More than a decade later, Starbucks continues to line its paper coffee cups with plastic, making them very difficult to recycle (most facilities won't). The vast majority of these cups end up in landfills and our oceans, where the plastic lining can break down into microplastics that harm marine life or enter the human food chain.

Starbucks recently announced "a renewed focus on sustainability", with its CEO Kevin Johnson stating that "[o]ur aspiration is to become resource positive — storing more carbon than we emit, eliminating waste, and providing more clean freshwater than we use.” Starbucks also claims to be "committed to significantly reducing the waste our stores generate."

Starbucks has stated that reusable cups are “the greenest option of all”. So why is it developing new storefront models that deter the use of such cups? Starbucks’ former director of environmental affairs, Jim Hannah, has acknowledged that “[t]he cup is our no. 1 environmental liability.” 

Sign this petition to tell Starbucks that you do not support its opening of a pick-up store in Toronto and call upon Starbucks Canada to close this store.

Instead of developing new business models that encourage wasteful practices, Starbucks needs to focus its efforts on reducing the amount of waste it produces.

Signing this petition will show Starbucks that its decision to prioritize consumer convenience over reducing pollution is out of sync with what consumers actually want.