Starbucks drains over 23.4 million litres of water down the drains of 10,000 outlets worldwide due to a policy of keeping a tap running non-stop. It is enough daily water for the entire 2 million population of Namibia in Africa.Previous Fact Next Fact
Environmental campaigners have attacked Starbucks after the discovery that millions of litres of water are wasted in its coffee shops every day, contradicting its much-boasted green credentials. A single Starbucks tap left running for just over three minutes wastes the amount of water one African needs to survive for a day in drought conditions. Under the company's health and safety rules, staff are banned from turning the water off because management claim that a constant flow of water prevents germs breeding in taps. Even a slow tap flows three litres of water a minute, meaning Starbucks in the UK is wasting an estimated 1.63m litres a day - enough to supply Matlock village in Derbyshire.
The running water policy was revealed after a Starbucks executive wrote back to a couple who complained about the tap at their local branch. "Jacob Tompkins, of the independent water efficiency agency Water Wise, said:"If they are doing all their basic cleaning procedures, I fail to see why they would need to do this. Ian Barker, the head of water resources at the Environment Agency, said: "We are already taking too much water from the environment and are seeing reduced river flows." A spokeswoman for Starbucks said that the company's water use adhered to the World Health Organisation, US and EU environmental directives for in-store water supply standards.