March 29, 2019//Boston, MA – Over 44 percent of shares voted for a proposal Trillium co-filed asking Starbucks to increase the scale and pace of its sustainable packaging initiatives. Global awareness of the plastic packaging problem continues to grow, characterized by a prediction that by 2050 there will more plastic in the oceans than fish.
“We believe Starbucks has not taken enough responsibility for its contributions to the global plastics problem, therefore we thought this proposal was necessary to encourage the Company to strengthen its sustainable packaging initiatives globally,” said Allan Pearce, a Shareholder Advocate at Trillium. For instance, in 2008 the Company pledged to serve at least 25 percent of its beverages in reusable containers by 2015; yet in 2018, less than 2 percent of its drinks were served in reusable containers.
As Starbucks opens a new store in China every 15 hours and its mobile platforms take off in the U.S., this significant growth likely indicates more of the Company’s packaging will end up in waste streams or the environment. This vote sends a strong signal to Starbucks that token initiatives like putting $10 million dollars to a moonshot effort to find a fully compostable or recyclable cup and phasing out plastic straws are not enough.
“The clear message from a near majority of shareholders is that the company’s actions to date weren’t enough, lag competitors, and do not present a comprehensive sustainable packaging policy,” says As You Sow’s Conrad MacKerron, the lead filer of this resolution. You can read As You Sow’s full press release here.
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