A Starbucks grande coffee has 320 milligrams of caffeine, over four times the amount of caffeine in a Red Bull.
The Starbucks cinnamon chip scone has more calories than a McDonald’s quarter pounder with 480 calories.
Starbucks uses over 93 million gallons of milk per year, enough to fill 155 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Starbucks uses 2.3 billion paper cups per year.
The caffeine in coffee acts as a laxative by causing contractions in the digestive system, eventually producing a bowel movement. According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, drinks containing caffeine cause the body to react much like a laxative would; however, exceeding two to three cups of coffee or tea daily can trigger diarrhea.
On average, Starbucks sells 4 million coffee drinks daily across the United States.
Starbucks Waste More Than 6 Million Gallons of Water a Day
Starbucks response: “Water is a key ingredient in our beverages and a necessity for operating our stores. We’re working to better understand how we use water, and how we can use it more efficiently. Much of the water in our stores is used to make coffee and tea beverages, and to run equipment such as dishwashers and ice machines.
In 2008 we set a goal to reduce water consumption by 25 percent in company-owned stores by 2015. For the first three years, we saw a reduction of more than 20 percent in our water use as a result of several proactive measures, including a successful rollout of a hand-metered water system to replace our “dipper wells” and the installation of a low-use water faucet. In 2011 we saw water consumption increase 5 percent over the prior year, moving our total decrease to almost 17.5 percent.”
Starbucks goes through 4 billion to-go cups annually but most of them end up in the landfill. Why? Even though these cups are mostly made of paper, these single-use items are almost never recycled or composted because they are lined with plastic.
Prison Coffee: Starbucks Admits Its Contractor Uses Prison Labor
By Erica C. Barnett
MOST PEOPLE assume that prisoners, especially those convicted of felonies like rape and murder, spend their days stamping license plates, making furniture for state offices, and digging ditches along state highways for 25 or 30 cents an hour. So it may seem a bit odd that Steven Strauss, until last August an inmate at the Twin Rivers Corrections Unit in Monroe, says he spent his last Christmas holiday packaging brightly colored bags of chocolate-covered Starbucks coffee beans and Nintendo Game Boy systems that would end up under Christmas trees across the country.
Twin Rivers, part of a four-unit prison that houses mentally ill inmates, high- security felons, and participants in the state’s Sex Offender Treatment Program, is also home to one of three facilities operated by Signature Packaging Solutions, one of 15 private companies that operate within the state prison system and use inmate labor to supplement their outside workforce.
“The majority of the workers are hired for big jobs, which come around holiday times,” says Strauss, who was sent to Twin Rivers in 1997 on drug and firearm charges. “We used to [package] all Starbucks’ coffee for the holidays. With Nintendo, we would do all their overflow-everything from Game Boys to [games like] Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong.” The work was dull, tedious, and repetitive, but it paid at least minimum wage (currently $6.72 an hour, a sizeable increase over the state prison standard of 35 cents to $1.10 an hour).
In a statement, Starbucks public affairs director Audrey Lincoff said Starbucks is aware that Signature uses inmate labor and believes its contract with Signature is “entirely consistent with our mission statement,” which says the company will respect others, contribute to the community, and embrace diversity. Nintendo did not respond to requests for comment.
Since 1983, when a commercial clothing assembly line at the Washington Corrections Center for Women marked the first private venture into the Washington prison system, the program has expanded and evolved into the largest private-sector prison employment program in the country. Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) officials bill it as a revolutionary rehabilitation and job-training program. It’s also a revenue generator, providing room and board, legal expenses, and money for crime victims that the state would otherwise be required to pay itself. “There’s a benefit to the inmate, there’s a benefit to the state, and there’s a benefit to you and me as taxpayers,” summarizes Doug Edlund, co-owner of Monroe- based Signature.
“The mission is to give offenders, if nothing else, a work ethic and experience mirroring some real world experience,” says DOC’s Cathy Carlson, who oversees the program. “When offenders are engaged in employment, they’re mentally out of prison that eight hours a day.”
The corrections department, Edlund adds, has “little or no problems with the inmates that are in this program,” who must have a GED and a spotless disciplinary record to even be considered for an interview.
OTHERS SUSPECT that DOC’s motives are more pecuniary than pure- hearted, noting that by shaving nearly 50 percent off the top of an inmate’s paycheck, the department slashes its own expenses while subsidizing the companies in the program, which aren’t required to pay for inmates’ health insurance or retirement. “They figure that if somebody’s sitting around, doing their time and doing nothing, they don’t make any money off them,” Strauss says. “They would much rather have you working, especially in a minimum-wage job.”
Richard Stephens, a Bellevue property-rights attorney, is suing DOC on the grounds that the program is unconstitutional, allows businesses that use prison labor to undercut their competitors’ prices, and unfairly subsidizes some private businesses at the expense of others. His case heads to the state Supreme Court on Jan. 31.
Stephens says the company his clients are targeting, a water-jet cutting operation called MicroJet, paid minimum wage (at the time, $5.75 an hour) and offered no benefits for jobs that pay between $14 and $20 an hour outside prison walls. Of his seven clients, all MicroJet competitors, “two have gone out of business and others are about to, because the one company that gets to operate within the prison system can seriously undercut their prices,” Stephens says.
Edlund denies that his company undercuts its competitors, noting that federal law requires companies to pay the “prevailing wage” for positions within the prison system. “You don’t get the labor for free,” he says. Signature also offers paid “vacation” and holidays, when inmates can have visitors, make doctors’ appointments, and visit with their lawyers on company time.
But Paul Wright, a prisoner and the editor of Prison Legal News, a newsletter focusing on prison-related legal issues, likens the program to border maquiladoras, where Mexican workers-often child laborers-make clothing, sporting goods, and other products for subminimum wages. Companies, like some advocates of prison labor, justify the practice by pointing out that the workers are making more than they could have in their impoverished rural villages, even if the pay is minimal by U.S. standards.
“You could make $55 a month doing janitorial work, or you could make $150 a month working for an outside business,” Wright says. Private businesses are “paying prison workers less than they’re paying on the outside, but they aren’t reducing the markup to the consumer”-they’re pocketing the profits.
Another key difference, Wright notes, is that prisoners can just be sent back to their cells whenever business goes through a lull; “on the outside, they have to lay off workers. It’s much more difficult,” Wright says. Strauss says employment at Twin Rivers was cyclical and sporadic. “When the economy started to go down a little bit, there was no guarantee that they would work you,” Strauss says. “They’d work these guys really hard for the holiday season packaging coffee, and then some people wouldn’t work for eight months straight.”
Carlson and Edlund deny this, noting that Signature has a contract for a minimum of 80 prison workers at a time, but Carlson acknowledges that “during the holiday season, there’s even more employment.”
Attorney Stephens believes the system is a PR nightmare in the making. “A majority of people don’t even realize that these products are being manufactured by prisoners,” Stephens says. “They need to know that they are buying these products from a company that is basically getting rich off prisoners.” Wright, sent to Twin Rivers for first-degree murder in 1987, believes parents would be disturbed to know that their child’s GameCube was packaged by a murderer, rapist, or pedophile. “These companies spend a lot of money on their public image,” Wright says, “but then they’re quick to make money any way they can.”
VIDEO: Police Officer Caught With His Pants Down … Masturbating At Starbucks
A police officer was caught masturbating at a table in a local Starbucks. The Camden Metro Police officer is accused of performing the act inside a Camden County Starbucks in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area.
The incident occurred last year but Lt. Benito Gonzalez who supervises the department’s narcotics unit, plead guilty to lewdness charges Monday.
Lt. Gonzalez is accused of pulling down his shorts last May, and masturbating at a table inside the store. He was off-duty at the time, and no one at the Starbucks knew that he was a police officer until after the fact.
Camden Metro Police Chief Scott Thompson said that the decorated lieutenant was suspended without pay. He called the allegations “deeply troubling.”
“We are deeply troubled by the allegations of this off-duty conduct,” Thomson said in a statement sent to local NBC 10. “A swift and thorough investigation is being conducted. We are working to ascertain all of the facts in this matter with Cherry Hill Police Department and the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.”
After the Monday plea, Gonzalez is now set to appear at an administrative hearing. The police hearing will decide whether or not he will be suspended from his job at the department.
According to the police report, Gonzalez allegedly pulled down his shorts and exposed himself at the coffee shop, “knowing or reasonably expecting that the act was likely to be observed by a non-consenting person who likely would be affronted or alarmed.”
Gonzalez left the shop, but a Starbucks employee reported the incident to police immediately, said company spokeswoman Laurel Harper.
“Our top priority is to provide a safe environment for our customers and employees, and we take all reports of inappropriate activity in our stores very seriously,” she said.
Gonzalez was charged with a disorderly persons lewdness offense, according to a Cherry Hill police spokeswoman, Lt. Amy Winters. “The investigation is still ongoing,” she said.
Police initially posted a photo of a man, who they identified as Gonzalez, with his pants down inside the Starbucks on their Facebook page. They later took it off however and are now using the picture as evidence.
Gonzalez is participating in a dismissal program that took effect in January 2014 and covers eligible defendants who commit a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense.
He will be monitored for one year on probationary status, and if he commits no additional infractions, the judge could dismiss the lewdness charge, the Courier Post said.
Six months after that, Gonzalez could apply to have the criminal charge expunged from his record.