What does it mean when 1.5 billion cups of coffee are sold each year by Dunkin Donuts, other than the fact that business is good? It means the environment is screwed! Why? Because those 1.5 billion cups are made of Styrofoam!
With 100 Styrofoam cups weighing in at about one pound all together, annual use by the donut company alone equates to 15 million pounds of Styrofoam trash being generated each year.
It takes approximately 1 million years for Styrofoam to decompose, so all of these coffee cups will still be around, buried in the ground, for our great great great great great great great great- well, you get the idea- grandchildren to deal with. It is imperative that something be done to address this major environmental issue, which, unfortunately, is often not even considered when people talk about how to ‘protect the environment’.
It is odd that, on their website, Dunkin Donuts states, “we recognize that everything we do has an impact on the environment. From the materials we use, to the way we construct and operate our stores, we are committed to adopting better, more sustainable approaches whenever possible.” As of today, Dunkin Donuts has not made the switch to a more eco-friendly cup, even though the company itself announced that the Styrofoam cups were on their way out almost a year ago.
To help light a fire under Dunkin’s ass, Change.org has begun a petition asking the company to follow through with their self-proclaimed commitment to adopting a greener and more sustainable coffee cup. You can sign the petition here to show your support.
For any skeptics, it’s worth it to take a look at what a Change.org petition did in terms of effecting a change in the way Jamba Juice will serve its customers by 2013.*
*Back in 2008, I recall my fiancée writing to Jamba Juice and expressing her concern over their use of Styrofoam cups. While I don’t have the original e-mail on hand that she received back, the response went something like this: “While we appreciate your concern about our excessive use of Styrofoam, it is, simply, the most effective material we have to keep our smoothies the coldest”. While that reply did not do too much to ease her concern at the time, it is definitely a good thing to see that, five years later, a petition has persuaded the company to make a smarter, more environmentally friendly decision in terms of its disposables.