As if! Revealing questionable business practices, Alicia Silverstone is calling out Starbucks this week after they used a disposable cup to fill her own personal mug. The actress didn’t let it slide, though — and now she wants Starbucks to make some changes.
The Clueless star tweeted, “Depressing! Just brought my reusable mug to @Starbucks & saw staff use a disposable cup, pour it into my mug, then toss the disposable cup. Totally defeats the purpose of trying 2 reduce waste. Then I looked around to see so many people sitting @ the cafe all w disposables! Ugh.” In an effort to reduce waste, Starbucks offers a 10-cent discount for anyone who uses their own mug to get coffee.
Though Silverstone received a ton of support, many felt she had the wrong information and that Starbucks was actually adhering to proper health codes. “There are sanitation considerations to take into account as far as personal mugs go. I would not be surprised to learn that the Starbucks employee was following proper sanitary protocol,” said one user. Another, who implied they were a Starbucks employee explained that “It makes no sense but it’s our policy. Even if you are in the cafe and come up get a refill, we are technically supposed to throw your cup away and give you a new one.”
Depressing! Just brought my reusable mug to @Starbucks &saw staff use a disposable cup, pour it into my mug, then toss the disposable cup. Totally defeats the purpose of trying 2 reduce waste. Then I looked around to see so many people sitting @ the cafe all w disposables! Ugh.
— Alicia Silverstone (@AliciaSilv) September 10, 2019
Silverstone, who has been a proud vegan since she was 21, went on to question why people were charged extra for wanting non-dairy milk. “I’m always frustrated by extra charges for non-dairy milk. Y should we be penalized 4 making the eco-choice? It would be amazing for @Starbucks to lead the way & consider enviro externalities associated w the dairy industry by having dairy cost + or at least = plantmilk fees.” She also requested they add unsweetened oat milk to the lineup, and we’re cheering her on from the sidelines on that one.
For their part, a Starbucks spokesperson told us that “Starbucks baristas are encouraged to craft beverages directly in customers’ reusable cups whenever possible.” But they’re taking Silverstone’s comments to heart. “Building on our long-standing commitment to sustainability and an elevated customer experience, we will take this opportunity to review guidance to our partners about personal cup use as we continue to be mindful of waste,” the spokesperson told us.
Starbucks also has something to say about Silverstone’s alt-milk ideas. “Regarding alternative milks, adding a splash of any alternative milk to brewed or iced coffee, cold brew or an Americano is always offered free of charge,” they said. “The price of our beverages is based on a standard recipe, so any customizations that are not part of the standard recipe, which could include added flavors, alternative milk, or an additional shot of espresso, will incur a small charge.”
We get that sanitary issues are real, but it makes no sense to post a policy that is seemingly earth-friendly only to use a cup for every customer anyway. If someone is going out of her way to tote her own mugs to the coffee shop, she should be rewarded for her efforts in a real way. No one wants to be disappointed like that. Starbucks, do better!