Starbucks Launches Splash Sticks

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Another example of pollution for the sake of convenience.

Starbucks just introduced a new splash stick this week. If you don't already know, it will become quickly apparent as these green sticks topped with the siren from their logo start littering sidewalks and filling up city garbage bins. Instead of using the box of stickers to cover the hole in your plastic paper cup lid, they are now offering a splash stick, which serves as a plug for your drink hole and a stir-stick all in one (except the stir-stick is too short to actually do any real stirring).

Apparently, Starbucks customers share and vote on ideas at My Starbucks Idea. This was an idea that was voted on, then went under review, and was finally tried out in a few stores. Customers liked the splash sticks so much that as of last week, all stores now have them. On the website, it's suggested you bring your splash stick back for reuse, but since I rarely see customers bring in their own mugs, I really doubt they'll remember to wash and bring their plastic green stick.

In addition, after talking to a barista at Starbucks today, I found that employees are not required, and rarely ask on their own whether or not customers are drinking in or getting their latte to go. Many people don't realize that Starbucks has coffee mugs and dishes for in-house customers. He said he is someone that is environmentally conscious, so takes it upon himself to ask customers as much as he can whether or not they are getting their coffee to go or not, but that most of the time, Starbucks' mugs and dishes remain unused.

I'd like to see Starbucks and other coffee chains use dishes for in-house customers. I've noticed that most indie coffee shops are already doing this. Also, I'd like to see more incentive in place for customers who bring their own mug with them.

And if Starbucks really wants to provide a splash stick for their customers' convenience, why not make biodegradable ones?

Landon took Samuel to Washington Park this morning, and I finished Atonement. All ready for book-club tomorrow night. Here's a picture from the park that I thought was particularly good:


Jeremy said...

They're always looking new ways to up-sell their coffee. You're right, it's too bad they couldn't have made them biodegradable!

At the Green Convention we went to there were so many amazing products made out of plastic bags, tires, old shoes. I'm sure there's something like that out there they could repurpose as a splash stick.

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