Plastic pollution seems to be getting worse and worse, so immediate action on behalf of governments and corporations is necessary. Slowly but surely, changes are being made. New York and California have banned single-use plastic bags. Canada is working to ban single-use plastic by 2021. Many corporations are also doing their part. Bottled water company Dasani launched water in aluminum cans and vending machines to purchase water with one’s own reusable bottle. Two of the worst plastic polluters, Pepsi and Coca-Cola even ditched the Plastics Industry Association for more sustainable practices.

Beloved coffee shop chain, Starbucks (who recently added oat milk to 1,300 U.S. locations) recently announced their new sustainability commitments and it sounds promising. CEO Kevin Johnson wrote in a statement: “As we approach the 50th anniversary of Starbucks in 2021, we look ahead with a heightened sense of urgency and conviction that we must challenge ourselves, think bigger and do much more in partnership with others to take care of the planet we share. Today, I’m excited to be able to share with you our commitment to pursue a bold, multi-decade aspiration to become resource positive and give more than we take from the planet.”

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The new sustainability commitments include five environmental strategies:

  1. The addition of more plant-based options. It’s been proven that plant-based eating is the best way to eat for the planet.
  2. A shift from single-use to reusable packaging. Probably one of the most important factors given that “Starbucks uses more than 8,000 paper cups a minute, which adds up to more than four billion a year,” according to Clean Water Action.
  3. Starbucks will invest “in innovative and regenerative agricultural practices, reforestation, forest conservation and water replenishment in our supply chain.”
  4. They will also invest in better ways to manage waste, reusing and recycling more, as well as eliminating food waste.
  5. The development of “more eco-friendly stores, operations, manufacturing and delivery.”

While they didn’t set a timeline to all of these they do hope to tackle three big environmental changes by 2030, a 50 percent reduction in the following things: carbon emissions, water withdrawal, and waste sent to landfill. The CEO also claimed that they will layout even more goals with deadlines on their 50th anniversary in 2021.

It’s very important that Starbucks commit to these environmental changes and try to implement them as soon as possible for the sake of the planet. They certainly have the money to do so. Hopefully, with them setting an example, other companies will follow suit and take accountability for their contribution to plastic pollution and climate change.

Reducing your meat intake is one important way to help the environment. Plant-based foods are also known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects. For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

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Here are some resources to get you started:

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