Make Coffee Company Allow Customers to Refuse Lid

Target: The Starbucks Corporation

Goal: Demand Starbucks allow customers to refuse wasteful plastic lids

Starbucks requires that customers in the United States take lids on their drinks, whether they want them or not. This is extremely wasteful and contributes to the growing problem of plastic pollution. Tell Starbucks their customers should be able to choose whether or not they want a lid for their drink.

Whether a drink is hot or cold, large or small, for there or to go, Starbucks requires their employees to give the customer a lid no matter what. Starbucks sells over four billion cups of coffee each year, resulting in millions of drinks sold every day. If only a fraction of customers decided not to take a lid, thousands of pounds of plastic could be kept out of landfills each year. Though Starbucks does have plans to put recycling in their stores, nothing is better for the environment than cutting down on the overall usage of such materials in the first place.

Starbucks claims that this policy arises out of a liability issue, such as the possibility of a customer suing their company after spilling a hot beverage on themselves. Yet with over $13 billion in revenue in 2012, there is no excuse to not change this policy and instead add disclaimers to each location.

By signing the petition below, you will help encourage Starbucks to give customers the option to refuse a lid for their drinks. The alternative is a needless waste of plastic that is harmful to the environment.


Dear Starbucks Corporation,

Regardless of whether or not a customer wants one, Starbucks employees are required to give customers lids on their drinks. This produces a large amount of unnecessary waste that harms the environment. Customers must be given the option to refuse a lid.

Whether a drink is hot or cold, consumed in-store or to go, company policy requires employees to add lids to the drink. Your company sells over four billion cups of coffee alone each year, not including all the other beverages available at your stores. When broken down, this means millions of cups of coffee are sold each day; if just a small percentage of individuals refused their lids, thousands of pounds of plastic would be cut from landfills.

Although plans to implement recycling in each store have been started, the best option for the environment is to cut down the use of plastic in the first place. Offering reusable cups for sale is one good effort towards this goal; take it one step further by giving customers the option to refuse a lid. Any problems of liability can easily be solved through posting signs in store and on the cups themselves, something a company with revenues in excess of $13 billion can afford to do.

Please take action to give customers the option of refusing a lid for their drink. As the leader in the coffee chain industry, you have a responsibility to set a good example for other stores.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: bark via Flickr

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146 Signatures

  • Lynn Juozilaitis
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