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Have your Latte Today and Thirst Tomorrow!

The American coffee shop chain Starbucks has been accused of wasting more than 23 million
litres of water each day because staff are told to leave taps running non-stop.

The bizarre policy, which is aimed at preventing germs developing in the taps in its
10,000 stores worldwide, has outraged environmental groups.

Every Starbucks branch has a cold tap behind the counter providing water for a sink
called a “dipper well” used for washing spoons and utensils and the staff are banned from
turning the water off under “health and safety rules”, an investigation claims.

In a letter to a customer who complained about the waste, a Starbucks executive revealed
that a constant flow stops breeding in the taps.

It means that 23.4 million litres of water – enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool
every 83 minutes or sustain the population of drought-hit Namibia – is wasted every day.

In the UK alone, where there are 698 branches open for 13 hours a day, it counts for
around 1.63 million litres of water wasted.

It raises questions about the Seattle-based company’s much-hyped environmental
credentials and will embarrass its legion of celebrity patrons.

Water firms say the policy harms the environment, while hygiene experts dismissed the
health and safety-motivated policy as “nonsense” and “bonkers”.

A spokesman for UK Water, which represents water companies, said it was “wasteful and

“There is absolutely no need to keep taps running,” he said.

Peter Robinson, of Waste Watch, the environmental charity, said: “Leaving taps running
all day is a shocking waste of precious water. And to claim you are doing it for health
and safety reasons is bonkers.

“Tap water comes from rivers and groundwater and wasting it can cause great harm to the
environment and wildlife. Big companies should set an example.”

Jacob Tompkins, of Water Wise, said that provided the firm was undertaking all the usual
cleaning processes, such a step was unnecessary.

“The chance of a build-up in the spout is extremely remote,” he said. “And if there is
one, they’re not cleaning the tap properly.”

A spokesman for Starbucks said the company’s water usage adhered to the World Health
Organization, United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the European Union

She said: “The dipper well system currently in use ensures that we meet or exceed our own
and local health standards.

“Dipper wells use a stream of continuous cold fresh-running water to rinse away food
residue, help keep utensils clean and prevent bacterial growth.”

However, she added: “We recognise the opportunity exists to reduce our total water usage.
Starbucks’ challenge is to balance water conservation with the need for customer safety.

Source:  Telegraph.Co.Uk

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No Responses to “Have your Latte Today and Thirst Tomorrow!”

  1. wilson Says:

    Oh my, It’s better for me to make my own latte and Americano at my home, than wasting my time and money sitting at the Starbucks…

    Let’s do some calculation here, 23.4 millions litres of water x 365 days = 8.541 billion litres per year!

    wilsons last blog post..Your Children Are Allergy with Egg Products?

  2. Kenneth Says:

    I’m always pleased to see blogs like yours because they share my point of view. If you’d like, you can check out I often go there for I have the same sentiments when it comes to cO2 emissions and how to save up money using alternative methods.

    What a catchy blog title you have there!

    Kenneths last blog post..Swamp Cooler or Air Conditioner?

  3. Condo Blues Says:

    If a restaurant has to worry about bacteria building up in their taps, then they and their city have much bigger health and safety issues than they want to admit. We have water treatment plants to take care of any possible baterial contaminents in city tap water _before_ it gets to our homes/buisnesses.

    I think one possbility of keeping the water running in a dish sink to is keep the funky smell down of the dirty dishes that have been sitting in standing water for too long because the workers are too busy making coffee for big rushes of customers and don’t always get a chance to clear the dishers out of the dish tubs.????

    Condo Bluess last blog post..Save Some Bucks – How to Seal Air Ducts!

  4. Diane Scott Says:

    Living here in Las Vegas, and watching Lake Mead shrinking at an alarming rate, makes me want to throttle every single Starbucks franchise owner. No wait, I’d start at the top and work my way down! Maybe it’s a good thing they are going out of business slowly but surely. Most likely the cause, apart from watery coffee, is their wasteful use of water and water bills too high to pay… DUH!

    Diane Scotts last blog post..How To Handle A Disasterous Situation

  5. kim Says:

    I can’t believe they are being allowed to do this! Health experts my ass, gimme a break! How many people DON’T have clean drinking water or any water at all? Just thinking about their taps running makes me ill!!!!!!!

    kims last blog post..Fearmongering At It’s Best!

  6. Linda Says:

    Hi Wilson … yep! it is unbelievable how much water they waste!

    Hi Kenneth … I am on my way over to the site to see what you are talking about. Also, Thank you on my title… it can mean many things. 🙂

    Hi Condo … We can give them the benefit of doubt but to waste water like they are doing is unforgivable.

    Hi Diane … Starting at the top is the beginning cause the CEO evidently has enough water and money to handle the high bills. Whomever is the COO should be fired for making this operating procedure a mandatory order cause their excuses are just that, excuses!

    Hi Kim … it makes me ill as well. To know that folks are dying for a drink of water and they are just draining the water. No Excuse is worthy!

  7. Paul Says:

    I wonder if they mean that germs will build up on the faucets as employees turn them on and off and thus transfer to employees hands. I’ve never heard of germs building up in the tap. No matter, it is a terrible policy to leave the water running all the time. I hope this exposure will motivate them to fix the problem.

    Pauls last blog post..Battery Technology

  8. Linda Says:

    Hi Paul … My hope is that this exposure will make them fix this problem. You are right! this is a terrible policy.

  9. Tara @ Go Green Street Says:

    WOW, this is an unbelievable amount of wasted water. It makes me wonder what other not so eco-friendly practices they participate in.

    Tara @ Go Green Streets last blog post..Green Energy: Solar Powered Air Conditioning

  10. Linda Says:

    Hi Tara … It makes you wonder doesn’t it.

  11. Barbara Says:

    I hope this exposure motivates a health department, or better yet a water conservation expert, to shut them down. What a terrible waste!
    I love my coffee…but I have a keurig brewing station. One cup at a time and no waste. I love it!

    Barbaras last blog post..Relax With Barbara On Wednesday 9

  12. Linda Says:

    hi Barbara … I hope so too! Was your brewing station expensive?

  13. overseas pharmacies Says:

    it really made me wonder

  14. Barbara Says:

    Hi Linda,

    My husband got it for me last Christmas, so I don’t know. Seems like it was more than $100, but that is a guess. But no filters needed, and you can have a variety of the little k-cups around and company can have what they want. I love it…but then he spoils me!

    Barbaras last blog post..Shore Up Your Finances At Shore Bank

  15. Linda Says:

    Hi Barbara … That’s not too bad. Glad he takes care of ya!

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