UK Press Grinds Starbucks for Wasting Water

Firm vows change after tabloid claims chain uses 6.2M gallons daily
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 10, 2008 11:50 AM CDT
If somebody has a soy allergy and the spoon has been used in soy," the cleaning system "makes sure that the utensil is sanitized," said a Starbucks rep.   (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Starbucks is abuzz as it tests new methods of spoon-cleaning, a reaction to a UK tabloid's report that the caffeine titan wastes 6.2 million gallons of water daily, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. Every store leaves a tap running constantly, the Sun said; Starbucks confirmed the claim, explaining that the water was part of a “dipper well” system that sanitizes utensils.

“We recognize that the amount of water used by the dipper well is unacceptable," said a rep. “Hopefully, we'll get a solution very quickly now.” Ideas include stocking stores with hundreds more spoons. Starbucks portrays itself as green, but its waste “would provide enough daily water for the entire 2 million-strong population of drought-hit Namibia,” the Sun noted. The firm says it's been testing other cleaning options since 2007.