There’s a protest going on right now at Starbucks Headquarters. No, it’s not because someone took exception to them wanting to use their international platform to hire refugees or because their holiday cups aren’t Christmas-y enough. This protest is in response to Starbucks’ unrecyclable cups.

Started on Monday, #BetterCup is a five day protest being staged by, a Bellingham, Washington-based environmental group that is “calling on Starbucks to live up to its 2008 promise to make a 100% recyclable paper cup.” From’s press release:

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“Nine years ago, Starbucks made a promise to give us a 100% recyclable cup. But to this day, they’ve left us with nothing but broken promises,” said Jim Ace, Corporate Campaigner at and the lead organizer of the protest. “Starbucks’ own leadership has said their unrecyclable cup is their biggest environmental liability. So why does Starbucks continue to kill more than a million trees each year to make their paper cup — just so customers can use it once and throw it away?”

The protest will include handing out free Starbucks coffee in prototype recyclable cups to all Headquarters employees, multiple appearances of a 12+ foot tall “monster” made of more than 1,000 used Starbucks cups, and erecting a wall of 8,000 used cups, representing the number of the company’s to-go cups that get discarded every minute.

The efforts of are laudable, and to be quite honest, if there’s an American coffee mega-chain that would make this sort of environmentally friendly change it is Starbucks. The company is no stranger to taking on causes; it certainly would not be shocked to find out they’ve already invested a lot of time and money into developing a recyclable cup that can be made on the scale needed for such a large company. Only time will tell.

For more information on or the protest, visit their official website.

UPDATE: Starbucks has sent the following in response to the protest:

Contrary to what the activist group is claiming, Starbucks hot cup is recyclable in Seattle as well as other cities where coffee cups can be recycled. To that end, Seattle Public Utilities even includes an image of our cup on their flier for what can be recycled in the city. The protest taking place in front of our Seattle headquarters this morning is misguided and intentionally ignores the fact that Starbucks hot cup is recyclable, as well as the realities and complexity of recycling in our country.

A full statement can be found here.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

*top image via Earth911

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