Consumer pressure on the food industry is pushing restaurants to adopt greener practices including embracing alternative meats, ditching plastic straws, and encouraging customers to use reusable containers. This week, Starbucks has taken its sustainability pledge to cut emissions, reduce waste, and conserve water by 2030.
The company plans to conserve or replenish 50 percent of the water used in its operations and coffee production and cut landfill waste by 50 percent. Specific policies include switching from disposable to reusable packaging and including more plant based options in their drink and food menus. Customers in the midwest will soon be able to order oat milk which was previously only available in their upscale Reserve stores.
Many of these changes fall in line with stricter regulations being rolled out by local and state governments. As more cities restrict plastic and emissions, more and more companies will be forced to adopt sustainable practices. The company has a long way to go in terms of achieving ideal, waste-free business practices, but every small action makes a difference, and implementing these changes in all of Starbucks’ 28,000 stores will make the coffee industry significantly greener.