Starbucks challenged over plastic straw ban

Section: The ALLIANCEType: News Item Date Published: 29th August 2018
Laptop and devices on a table; the world news is on the screen of the laptop. A hand holding a coffee cup.

A campaigning organisation has highlighted that the proposed move has caused anxiety and feelings of exclusion among disabled people.

The ALLIANCE has joined disability organisations representing over 500,000 disabled people in Europe and North America in backing a letter to Starbucks CEO, Kevin Johnson, coordinated by Scottish disability rights organization One in Five.

In their letter, co-signed by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thomson and political representatives from every major UK political party, One in Five states that Starbucks’ intention to eliminate single-use plastic straws globally by 2020 has caused ‘considerable anxiety’ and led to many disabled people feeling excluded by the world’s largest coffee chain.

The campaigners have challenged Starbucks to invest in the research and development of a new straw that will satisfy environmentalists and disabled people.

On release of the letter, One in Five co-founder, Jamie Szymkowiak, said:

“Our letter shows the strength of feeling from disabled people around the world. Starbucks must listen to their customers, including disabled people and environmentalists, and commit to investing in the research and development of a straw that doesn’t harm the environment for future generations and ensures the needs of disabled people are met.”

One in Five co-Founder, Pam Duncan-Glancy added:

“Starbucks have the power to help disabled people and the environment at the same time. Big companies like them can lead and others follow. It’s so important for our human rights that they act now. After all, what is environmental justice without social justice?”

Commenting on release of the letter, Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said:

“The companies responsible for distributing masses of single-use plastic items have the resources to innovate products which are truly sustainable and fully fit for purpose – suitable for everyone including the disabled community. Straws and other throwaway plastic items, that can’t be easily recycled, must be phased out and replaced with alternatives that don’t pollute our oceans and are suitable for everyone. In the meantime, plastic straws should be easily available for those who need them.”

Read the letter in full on the One in Five website (this link will take you away from our website).

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