Alicia Silverstone is taking a page out of Clueless heroine Cher Horowitz’s playbook and launching a socially aware pet project: making Starbucks more eco-friendly.
The 42-year-old actress and longtime vegan took to Twitter this week to decry her “depressing” experience at the coffee chain. Silverstone says she brought an eco-friendly reusable coffee mug to reduce waste, but was disappointed to see employees — and many of her fellow customers — still using disposable cups for their beverages.
The former teen star added that Starbucks’s policy of charging for non-dairy milk, such as soy or almond, “penalized” customers for “making the eco choice.” She also requested that they start offering unsweetened oat milk, a popular non-dairy milk alternative for vegans.
Depressing! Just brought my reusable mug to @Starbucks &saw staff use a disposable cup, pour it into my mug, then toss the disposable cup. Totally defeats the purpose of trying 2 reduce waste. Then I looked around to see so many people sitting @ the cafe all w disposables! Ugh.— Alicia Silverstone (@AliciaSilv) September 10, 2019
Starbucks has responded to her concerns by acknowledging its efforts to “be mindful of waste” and encourage baristas to avoid using disposable cups when a customer brings in a reusable alternative. The company insisted that adding “alternative milks” to certain drinks is free, unless it’s a custom order that varies from the original recipe, in which case a “small surcharge” must be paid.
Also!I'm always frustrated by extra charges for non-dairy milk. Y should we be penalized 4 making the eco-choice? It would be amazing for @Starbucks to lead the way &consider enviro externalities associated w the dairy industry by having dairy cost + or at least = plantmilk fees.— Alicia Silverstone (@AliciaSilv) September 10, 2019
“Starbucks baristas are encouraged to craft beverages directly in customers’ reusable cups whenever possible,” a statement reads. “Building on our long-standing commitment to sustainability and an elevated customer experience, we will take this opportunity to review guidance to our partners about personal cup use as we continue to be mindful of waste.
. @starbucks one more thing - can you please get unsweetened oat milk at all your locations? ❤️🙏— Alicia Silverstone (@AliciaSilv) September 10, 2019
“Regarding alternative milks, adding a splash of any alternative milk to brewed or iced coffee, cold brew or an Americano is always offered free of charge. The price of our beverages is based on a standard recipe, so any customizations that are not part of the standard recipe, which could include added flavors, alternative milk or an additional shot of espresso, will incur a small surcharge.”
Silverstone’s rant received plenty of support from like-minded fans, who called for the chain to be less “careless” about the environment. But some scolded the star for not going the extra eco-friendly mile by skipping Starbucks entirely in favor of a homemade brew or by supporting a local, indie coffee shop.
This is all good and eco-friendly stuff you’re requesting, but the most eco-friendly thing is always going to be to make your coffee at home! Convenience is the cause of so much waste in the world—the whole “I need it right now” thing.— Marge Tenenbaum (@margetenenbaum) September 12, 2019
Why not make your own coffee with reusable filters at home? #Clueless— Cams Chorizo (@camschorizo) September 12, 2019
Starbucks sucks! Support local coffee shops! ☕️— Jacob B. (@BeelzeBobLoblaw) September 11, 2019
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