Starbucks: Save Millions of Trees by Using Recyclable Cups

Target: Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks

Goal: Demand Starbucks reduce their environmental impact by using recyclable, bio-plastic cups.

The disastrous effects of plastics on the environment and its wildlife have long been understood. For years, many widespread consumer companies—including Coca Cola, Nestlé, and Starbucks—have been main contributors to international plastic pollution, leaving billions of tons of plastic to slowly decompose in natural habitats. While many companies are honorably attempting to reduce their plastic footprints, many of these attempts are misguided. Starbucks, for example, has transitioned to mainly using paper cups and strawless lids. However, strawless lids actually use up more plastic resources than do plastic straws, and paper cups are just as bad.

Each and every minute, Starbucks uses over 8,000 paper cups—that is equivalent to more than four billion per year. An estimated 1.6 million trees must be cut down and harvested in order to produce all of those single-use paper cups. And, to make matters even worse, the paper cups are lined with plastic—so, they aren’t actually recyclable. Most of these cups, rather than being recycled, end up in landfills.

Sign this petition to demand that Starbucks—and other companies that claim to be committed to positive change—actually take the necessary steps towards reducing their environmental impacts.


Dear Chief Officer Schultz,

While we greatly appreciate your attempts to reduce Starbucks’ environmental impact, there are concerns surrounding the sustainability of your new approaches. Each minute, Starbucks uses over 8,000 single-use paper cups—which adds up to 4 billion per year—for which over 1.6 million trees must be cut down. Deforestation, like that needed to supply your new line of cups, severely impacts wildlife populations and indigenous communities. Additionally, since these new cups are lined with plastic, they aren’t actually biodegradable–only four states in the U.S. actually even allow them to be recycled. As a result, most of these cups end up slowly decaying in landfills along with tons of other single-use plastics.

We are asking you, Mr. Schultz, to reconsider your approach to sustainability and instead, use biodegradable cups. There are so many alternatives out there, it is a crime not to take advantage of them.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Muntaka Chasant


  1. Domenica Ott says:

    We should not have to beg Starbucks and others. It should be a given thing that they don’t produce countless tons of garbage landing in landfills. There should be a law against it! Personally, I don’t buy anything that comes with throw away packaging!

  2. KELLY KRAMER says:

    Get it together Schultz! There is no planet B!

  3. Sandra Schomberg says:

    you care about your employee’s, care about the planet too!

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