Starbucks wastes some 6.2 million gallons of water each day through a health policy that requires a constantly running tap at each store, says a breathless indictment in British tabloid The Sun. A Starbucks spokesperson confirms the use of a dipper well, which uses “a stream of continuous cold fresh-running water to rinse away food residue, help keep utensils clean, and prevent bacterial growth.” Dipper wells are common at coffee and ice-cream shops, but the gigantuousness of Starbucks’ global operations is such that, according to the The Sun, the amount of wasted water could sate the thirst of “the entire 2 million-strong population of drought-hit Namibia … or fill an Olympic pool every 83 minutes.” Starbucks says it is looking into alternatives, which water-efficiency experts say do exist. “Leaving taps running all day is a shocking waste of precious water,” says Peter Robinson of U.K. green group Waste Watch. “And to claim you are doing it for health and safety reasons is bonkers.” Damn, “Starbonkers” would have been a better headline.
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