Starbucks’ VIA Product Manager Didn’t Get the Memo

Starbucks wants us all to save a tree by using a reusable travel mug, as I blogged about here only a few days ago.

Yet, this weekend, my Starbucks store was handing out free samples of VIA instant coffee, complete with an eight-ounce paper cup, plastic top and wooden stirrer, all packaged in a plastic bag with a sticker on top.

Some poor product manager at Starbucks just got his or her signals crossed, I’m sure. But to consumers it suggests an underlying hypocrisy—one more company that advertises one set of values, but “lives” by another.

If Starbucks genuinely uses sustainability as a litmus test in making business decisions, then this poorly conceived VIA promo would never have left the conference-room white board. Enjoy more; waste less.