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Starbucks workers turn off taps

Starbucks workers have been defying management and switching off running taps after an investigation found that the coffee chain is wasting 23.4 million litres of water each day.

Starbucks claimed the constantly running tap was necessary to meet hygiene rules and prevent bacteria growth in the sinks used to rinse utensils but environmental health experts dismissed this and said there are more effective ways of cleaning.

Now The Sun newspaper reports:

“Starbucks ordered staff to keep the taps running yesterday while experts advise them on an alternative system. But we found workers had defied the instruction and turned off the taps. In Newcastle an assistant said: “It just seems common sense.”


  • Greenbang
    Posted January 4, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    This discussion thread is now closed

  • Adelle
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    How is starbucks being greedy by having a tap running all the time? wha…? Hell, I don’t leave the faucet running when I brush my teeth. Greedy by wasting the water like that. How is running water more sanitary than not running the water? I’ve worked in big kitchens, and we never had a running tap. Oh, wait. That’s because we had a TANK and couldn’t deplete it. We used sanitizers, we boiled the silverware, the dishwasher…oh, wait. Starbucks doesn’t do dishes…they throw everything away. Aaah, I see the problem now. Starbucks wastes water AND all kinds of other resoureces with ALL of their policies and practices.

  • Aurora22
    Posted October 15, 2008 at 5:15 am

    The solution to the whole Starbucks-running-water-all-the-time is actually really simple. Use the taps when needed. Use either a 10:1 water to bleach ratio to keep sinks sanitized hourly or QUATS sanitizer which you can literally drink without harmful effects to sanitize both sinks and utensils with. Not that hard people….

    And for the global warming comment. Yeah, we do need to be more conservative, but do you know what? Global. Warming. Is. Inevitable. It is a natural occurrence and we will only be delaying it. Think of that too.

  • whither individual responsibility?
    Posted October 15, 2008 at 2:41 am

    Perhaps I’m the idiot, but to me these workers acted irresponsibly by ignoring a public health procedure based on nothing more than their “common sense”. Do they have advanced degrees in biology? Starbucks directed them to keep the taps running while they work with experts to develop an alternative system. But no, they couldn’t wait for that, and took a gamble with public health.

    This is shear idiocy, and the comment about “corporate greed” is even more idiotic. How on earth does it benefit Starbucks to keep the taps running? The only possible benefit is that they felt it PREVENTS PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES and better serves their customers.

  • Richard
    Posted October 15, 2008 at 1:55 am

    Global warming? Only 5% of the scientist say that… what about the sun spots? Which probably proceed global cooling. Or maybe the fact that we don’t have enough CO2 to grow our crops, causing global cooling. Maybe it’s time you stop being sheep and start studying a little instead of being fed lies and regurgitating them at will.

    @Im seriously about to vomit
    No water is not obviously lost. If you were to study you would know that water is 100% in 100% out. Drinking water is only lost when it is contaminated and unable to be cleaned. Otherwise, water is recycled by the environment itself.

    Think green, go buy your little hybrid that has the battery that lasts 5 to 10yrs with no way to recycle it or dispose of it safely and save gas… Oh um, my car is not a hybrid and is need of a tune-up and gets 36 mpg and doesn’t have a highly toxic battery that no ones knows what to do with.

    If green is just a fad to you, you need to wake up.

  • Im seriously about to vomit
    Posted October 14, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    The ignorance displayed by many of you really amazes me. It is a fact the worlds drinking water is depleting… it just so happens that your fortunate enough to be living in a country that is not yet seeing its affects. I find it really hard to believe that you can’t see that some of the water that you run through that faucet doesn’t get lost in the process. That some does in fact add up.

    I bet your the type that boos at a presidential candidate for mentioning global warming too right? I mean fuck it, its probably all just a bunch of hogwash.

    I really wish this was funny to me but its really not. Its not so much the article itself or the problem it brings up, but really just the ignorance of some of you. Oh and in case your wondering some of you implies to those with the names Richard and “Real Common Sense.”

  • Sun
    Posted October 14, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Common sense, indeed. Wasting is a sign of arrogance and /or stupidity.

  • Leo
    Posted October 14, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Starbucks is one of the best starting wages there is. £5.70 an hour whilst i was under 18 is the best i could get. Im at £6.15 now and still only 17. I dont think thats exploiting, including all the discounts and stuff we get as well.
    The coffees hardly poxy, a large is a pint.
    The prices are high, but people still buy it because they like it. You any good at running a business?
    And have you seen this, ‘exploiting’ of the farmers? I think someones jealous 🙂

    And well done Real Common Sense! The water isnt wasted

  • Real Common Sense
    Posted October 14, 2008 at 4:54 am

    its okay greeniacs. the earth’s water isn’t going anyway.

  • Richard
    Posted October 14, 2008 at 3:08 am

    Actually, the more advanced cities use a biologic filter (algae), so no energy is wasted. Actually, running clean water back into the system helps dilute things like say toilet cleaner or other chemicals that you use. My point still stands, there is very little waste to running water through a tap all day.

  • kathy thomas
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    you should see how they treat the united states military….do the research. they are boycotting the war. which is fine. but they refuse to give the boys and girls “starbucks coffee”. mean mean mean.

  • kathy thomas
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    you should see how they treat the united states military….do the research. they are boycotting the war. which is fine. but they refuse to give the boys “starbucks coffee”. mean mean mean.

  • Joe
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    As good as this news is,the staff behaviour seems a bit odd and in my opinion don’t really deserve this liberator perspective. They don’t question it as envoronmentally unfriendly or against ‘common sense’ when its non publicised, but as soon as heat comes to the subject, its like ow its clearly common sense, a phrase ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ comes to mind. How come they didn’t ‘defy’ management when this water rule was first laid down? No matter how much fault is dealt to management, employees allowed this to occur.

    booyah 😀

  • An honest chap
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Super congratulations to the workers. But I bet the first customer to get a dodgy tummy will be running to sue star bucks. It’s a sad thought but I bet it’s true as sadly greed always wins.

    O and Starbucks are no are very far from the worse of the coffee companies. If you believe this you haven’t done any research at all.

  • orange
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Plain coffee at Starbucks is pretty much the going rate for coffee anywhere ($1.50 or so). The $4 “coffee” some people buy is really expresso with tons of syrup. That’s not cheap anywhere.

    This policy is clearly stupid, and kudos to the employees for having brains.

  • Julio
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 6:08 am

    what an ignorant comment…thats like asking where piss goes when you flush the toilet…to the same sewage factory of course…but do you periodically flush the toilet all day w/o using it? people would think youre crazy…i think common sense is what’s missing in your logic

  • Amanda
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 12:35 am

    @ Richard

    When water goes down the drain it goes to the wastewater treatment plant before being discharged into the environment. Eventually that water may get taken back up at a drinking water treatment facility to renter the drinking water supply. Definitely not as easy as you make it sound plus there are pretty significant costs and energy use at both treatment facilities to treat the water so this is not a very environmentally smart thing to do. Additionally I’m guessing the water that they are/were wasting is heated which again takes energy. So all in all bad policy.

  • Tim
    Posted October 12, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Despite the fact that I doubt the water goes right back to the drinking supply, That water must undoubtedly be filtered. And what does that waste at the least? Energy? I think so. During an “energy crisis” to top that. Any way you think about it, it doesn’t make sense to leave the taps on.

  • Richard
    Posted October 12, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Where does the water go when it goes down the drain? Oh wait back into the drinking water supply through filters… how wasteful is that really? Common sense has now room here.

  • starbucks employee
    Posted October 12, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    This is so true.

  • common sense
    Posted October 12, 2008 at 4:43 am

    “Another example of gross corporate greed….good for the workers!!!!”

    …and how is Starbucks being greedy in this case?

  • UKBlaza
    Posted October 12, 2008 at 4:20 am

    I can’t believe people go in places like Starbucks to pay a ridiculou amount of money for a cup of poxy coffee. They’re rip off merchants, pure and simple. They pay the bare minimum in wages and exploit the workers who grow, pick, and process the beans. It’s no wonder they have a policy that deems their outlets waste thousands of gallons of good clean drinking water every hour of every day they are open. The staff, and customers, should tell them to stick their fancy coffee bar and refuse to enter any Starbucks anywhere ever again!

  • crazysheep
    Posted October 12, 2008 at 2:08 am

    yay for common sense!

  • Minette Sweeney
    Posted October 11, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Another example of gross corporate greed….good for the workers!!!!

  • Raul
    Posted October 11, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Awesome! This is great news (although I thought Starbucks was more environmentally responsible.

  • mimipa
    Posted October 11, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    They do that at Ruby Tuesday too-I was in the ladies restroom and walked in, to a open sink faucet. NOT COOL!!!

  • Adam Shake
    Posted October 11, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Score one for common sense!

Comments are closed.

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