Stuff that matters


Day two of the Trump era, environmentalists set their sights on … holiday cups.

Protestors with forest advocacy group Stand erected a giant, cardinal-red coffee cup in Seattle’s Westlake Center on Thursday, pressuring Starbucks to make its holiday cups recyclable.

Starbucks has struggled with reinventing its disposable products for years. It aimed to make all of its cups reusable or recyclable by 2015, but that hasn’t happened yet.

The night before, Westlake Center had been the site of a large protest against Donald Trump, who promises to gut existing measures to fight climate change.

So why focus on cups? Stand’s U.S. Campaign Director Ross Hammond told us: “Where we can make change is forcing companies to do things they should be doing but don’t want to do.”

Patrons of the original Starbucks store in Pike Place Market — a few blocks from the protest — had a different take:

“I don’t know how we can go from the [Trump] protests last night … to protesting red cups,” said Steph K., 28, of Los Angeles. We have a national identity crisis, she said, and “this is what we’re talking about?”

Starbucks told Grist that it is “committed to reducing the impact of waste generated in our stores,” and that its cups are recyclable in some places, like Seattle, already.