Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Another Styrofoam Summer

What could be worse than a littered plastic container?

How about that same plastic container encased in Styrofoam (aka polystyrene), courtesy of Dunkin' Donuts?...

Apparently Dunkin' Donuts hasn't thought about the consequences of Styrofoam proliferation. It may be inconvenient to have our hands get damp due to condensation on the outside of a plastic container; not to mention the little puddles that same condensation might leave in a car's cupholder. Who cares that Styrofoam can't be recycled?

This morning I was happily driving down the road having just seen a well-dressed businessman exit his vehicle in 90 degree temps to help a snapping turtle cross a busy road.  This leaves me feeling pretty good about things in general, so I pull into a Dunkin' Donuts and order a medium iced-coffee.  I'm handed a plastic cup of the stuff that's wearing a Styrofoam "huggie" of sorts.  Explaining that I have no desire for the Styrofoam, the server takes it back and comments that "most customers around here want the Styrofoam, so we provide it".

Later in the day, just to check, I go into a different Dunkin' Donuts and order a medium iced-coffee and it's handed to me without the Styrofoam "huggie".  I asked about the Styrofoam and quickly one was provided with staff saying that customers need only to ask and it will be provided free of charge.
I'm left to wonder if Dunkin' Donuts has a corporate policy on this issue, or instead lets each franchise decide for themselves.

A quick check of Dunkin' Donuts' Web site shows the following under "Our Vision: Serving Responsibly- To be recognized as a company that responsibly serves our guests, franchisees, employees, communities, business partners, and the interests of our planet."
Then under "Our Priorities" they specifically list the following: "Our Planet: We recognize that everything we do has an impact on the environment.  From the materials we use, to the way we construct and operate our stores, we are committed to adapting better, more sustainable approaches whenever possible."

How about putting the kibosh on the "Styrofoam proliferation program"?  If customers absolutely need to handle a dry container, why not sell REUSABLE neoprene "huggies" bearing the corporate logo?  Customers will have dry hands AND our planet will be spared a few tons of Styrofoam. 

1 comment:

PenobscotPaddles said...

Or instead of a neoprene wrapper they could use a napkin or two. Works fine and I can mop a sweaty brow afterward.