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Starbucks still has a long way to go with recycling

Coffee retailer Starbucks has said that its recycling efforts need improvement as its corporate responsibility report highlights that only 399 of its stores worldwide offer front of store recycling facilities.

According to the report, while the company has made significant advances with regard to ethical sourcing it has failed to significantly reduce the amount of waste from its single-use cups and other packaging.

In the 2008 report, Starbucks outlined the following goals with regard to recycling:

·         Develop a comprehensive recyclable cup solution by 2012

·         Implement front-of-store recycling in its company owned stores by 2015

·         Serve 25% of beverages in its stores in reusable serveware or tumblers.

As the 2009 report, published yesterday, demonstrates Starbucks is not currently on track to deliver any of these goals.

Currently only 5% of its company-owned stores offer front of store recycling and only 1.5% of beverages were sold in reusable tumblers.

The company also says it is not yet any closer to finding a recyclable cup solution but will be holding its second cup summit where cup manufacturers, recyclers and other stakeholders will meet to discuss the steps required to make Starbucks cups recyclable in form and practice.

The main challenge with regard to cup recycling, according to Starbucks, is the huge variance in local recycling capabilities around the world. The report states: This inconsistency makes it difficult for a company like ours, with more than 16,000 retail locations around the globe, to efficiently and effectively implement a recycling strategy.

Starbucks insists it is collaborating with local authorities, raw material suppliers, cup manufacturers, retail and beverage businesses, recyclers and academic experts to try and find a way to overcome this problem by the 2015 target.

Starbucks vice president of global responsibility Ben Packard said: We recognise we have a long way to go.

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