It seems not everybody is a fan of the 6ix's new addition. It's only been a few days since the Toronto Starbucks pick-up store opened downtown, but there is already a petition gaining traction online which is calling for it to be shut down. The founder of the petition argues the store restricts use of reusable coffee mugs and therefore is a backwards step in terms of waste reduction.
The pick-up-only location opened at Commerce Court on Tuesday, February 4.
But by the following day, 29-year-old university student Christie McLeod had started a campaign on Change.org to try to convince Starbucks to roll back the new policy and shutter the store.
Speaking to Narcity by phone on Thursday, February 6, McLeod said she was hugely disappointed to see the store open. She believes it flies in the face of Starbucks' professed desire to reduce waste across their locations.
"Back in 2008, Starbucks set a goal that 25% of its customers would use reusable cups by 2015 and instead of working towards that goal, it abandoned it," McLeod told Narcity. "It estimates today that 1% of its customers use reusable cups."
She added: "Instead of doing something about that, they opened this new store in Toronto... and it readily encourages the use of disposable items by the preordering system, where your drink is ready before you enter the store so there's no opportunity to use the reusable mug."
.@StarbucksCanada just opened a pick-up store in #Toronto, which is based on a pre-ordering system that heavily dis… https://t.co/0mX8gQ2R5M— Christie McLeod (@Christie McLeod)1580929089.0
According to Starbucks, the company aims to become more resource-positive through. The main ways they intend to achieve this include storing more carbon than they emit and reducing or even eliminating their waste.
In January, the Seatle-founded brand's CEO Kevin Johnson announced a renewed focus on sustainability that will eventually go towards giving more to the planet than they take.
Throughout the years, Starbucks has increased its efforts to help with the environment by introducing cup sleeves, paper cups, drinkable lids and paper straws.
However, McLeod believes the opening of this new store steers away from these positive initiatives and undoes much of the good work.
"We're really seeing a shift away from disposable items, and so Starbucks really needs to understand that the change is happening and they should be helping make the change, not fighting it," McLeod concluded.
The pick up-location opened its doors in downtown Toronto on February 4 and plans of any future stores across Canada have not been decided.
As of the time of writing, the petition had amassed a couple of hundred signatures within 24 hours of being set up.
Narcity reached out to Starbucks for comment.