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Starbucks shopper sparks outrage after sharing photo showing impact of annual promotion: 'I'm having a hard time understanding it'

"This is all so stupid."

"This is all so stupid."

Photo Credit: iStock

Starbucks' annual Red Cup Day is a famously festive promotion of holiday-themed beverages in reusable cups. However, the yearly giveaway still features a surprising amount of single-use packaging that often ends up in the trash. 

A Reddit user in r/Houston uploaded an image of a Starbucks counter filled with untouched drinks titled: "Red Cup Day at a local Houston Starbucks today. My gosh, so much wasted food." 

Red Cup Day
Photo Credit: Reddit

The original poster explained that the abandoned drinks were dumped into a bucket by an employee after they were left sitting out too long. 

"So when they show up they are able to get whatever this red cup is but then dip out before the drink is ready? This is all so stupid I'm having a hard time understanding it," a confused Redditor asked.

"So many people order on the app that it becomes an hour-long wait so they decide to just leave, but they cannot cancel the order so the drink is still made," one commenter added

Though it's a shame to see perfectly good drinks go to waste, imagine how much single-use packaging is left on the counter and then thrown in the garbage each day, only to end up at the dump. 

This post is an excellent reminder that ditching single-use coffee cups and being mindful of the ways in which we buy and use packaged goods — especially those made with plastic — can make a huge difference in making the earth a cooler, cleaner place to live. 

Bringing a reusable cup to coffee shops is a fantastic way to cut down your plastic use. Some establishments even offer a discount for bringing your own container, including Starbucks with its reusable cup program, making it even easier to save money while helping the planet.

Learning how to properly recycle materials such as paper cups and plastic lids, bringing a reusable water bottle on your daily commute, and even swapping restaurant takeout boxes for your own to-go containers are small ways you can lessen your reliance on plastic and keep it out of landfills.

"Wow! Now I'm glad I wasn't able to put in my Starbucks order that day," one Redditor said."

I'd like to take this opportunity to remind everyone about the made-at-home coffee," another user chimed in. "You can recreate your Starbucks brew for easily half the cost and no lines at all!"

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