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SEATTLE - A group of protesters calling for Starbucks to make a 100 percent recyclable cup made eye-catching displays in front of the company’s Seattle headquarters this week.
Bellingham-based group Stand.earth constructed a wall of used cups along First Avenue South in SoDo as well as a large “cup monster” in the parking lot.
The group says the wall, made from 8,000 cups, represents the 4 billion cups thrown away each year. The cup monster is made from 1,000 cups.
The displays are part of a five-day protest.
The group says Starbucks’ customers assume their paper cups are recyclable, but that's not true in most cases.
"(Starbucks) uses 8,000 cups a minute, every minute of every day of every year. Eight-thousand cups are going in the landfill because in most places around the world, Starbucks cups are not recyclable,“ said Jim Ace, Corporate Campaigner at Stand.earth.
Stand.earth says the cups cannot be processed in most recycling facilities because of their plastic lining, which clogs the recycling equipment.
But Starbucks is disputing the group’s assertion, calling the protest “misguided.”
The group “intentionally ignores the fact that Starbucks hot cup is recyclable, as well as the realities and complexity of recycling in our country,” a company official said in a statement on Starbucks’ website.
Activists plan to camp outside the headquarters until Friday.