As John Edwards always said, never underestimate the power of a tabloid. Following the revelation in British rag-mag The Sun that constantly running dipper wells waste a humongous amount of water, a Starbucks spokesperson confirms, “Stores will be instructed to switch off the dipper well tap and will wash spoons after use.” And the plot thickens: According to, a senior-level source at an unnamed PR agency claims, “We warned [Starbucks] several years ago that their usage of water was not good for their environmental credentials and could be a potential problem for them. They listened, but they didn’t do anything about it.” Starbucks has tried to polish its green image, saying that by 2010 it wants to source 50 percent of its energy from renewables, use green-building practices in all new stores, and “reestablish” ceramic mugs as the “global standard” for in-store drinkers. As for water use, Starbucks will continue to look into dipper-well alternatives, including those newfangled — whaddayacallem? — dishwashers.