Commend Starbucks for Breaking Ground in Food Waste Recycling

Target: Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

Goal: Applaud Starbucks for its food recycling program and encourage other corporations to recycle food waste

Starbucks Hong Kong is collaborating with research scientists and the nonprofit organization The Climate Group to turn used coffee grounds and leftover bakery items into plastics, laundry detergents, and a variety of other useful products. If successful, this pilot program could usher in a revolutionary way of dealing with food waste. The process is called biorefinery, and works in a similar way to that of oil refineries. Instead of converting petroleum into fuel, food wastes, specifically plant-based carbohydrates, are converted into bio-based fuels and other products.

The biorefinery process is promising in so many ways. The key step in the process involves the conversion of sugars from food waste into succinic acid, which can then be used to make plastic, detergent, medicine, lacquers, dyes, and perfumes, all with a much lower environmental impact than traditional manufacturing methods.

1.3 billion tons of food are dumped in landfills every year. In Hong Kong, where this pilot program is taking place, 5,000 tons of food waste is produced at Starbucks alone. Not only does this food take up space in a landfill, it also produces carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, when it is incinerated. The biorefinery process would bypass this step, lowering the amount of carbon dioxide produced.

A corporation the size of Starbucks, ubiquitous across the globe, should be commended for its efforts to reduce its impact on the environment. Please sign this petition to thank Starbucks and encourage other corporations to follow suit.


Dear Mr. Schultz,

Thank you for encouraging green practices in your business model. Specifically, the pilot program, taking place in Starbucks Hong Kong to reuse food waste, should be commended. The collaboration between The Climate Group, research scientists, and Starbucks to turn used coffee grounds and left over bakery items into a variety of marketable items will hopefully be a trend many will follow. The biorefinery process could usher in a revolutionary way of dealing with food waste.

The conversion of sugars from food waste into succinic acid during the biorefinery process opens the door to the fabrication of many products including plastics, detergents, and medicines, not to mention the elimination of waste. In Hong Kong alone, 5,000 tons of food waste is produced by Starbucks. To be able to use this waste for products that would be made anyway and simultaneously reduce environmental impact is wonderful.

Thank you for your efforts to reduce the impact Starbucks has on the environment and to continue to be a model for other corporations to follow.


[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. Bravo, the way to go!!

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