Starbucks Amsterdam and London teams help clear plastic waste from city waterways

As part of Starbucks commitment to help reduce plastics waste, the focus of this years’ company-wide Global Month of Service in April, saw over 200 partners (employees) in Amsterdam and London volunteer to clear plastic waste from local waterways.

In London, over 600 bags of rubbish were collected in five hours as part of a programme led by the charity project Thames21, whose mission is to work with communities to improve the city’s waterways. The Starbucks team from stores in London and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) support centre, cleaned a stretch of the River Thames on a popular walking and cycle route by Hammersmith Bridge.

Choosing to support plastic waste clean-up projects for this year’s community work falls in line with Starbucks sustainability commitments to cut plastic waste in its stores, which includes trialling new alternatives to plastic straws, removing cutlery from condiments bars and signing up to the app Refill in Britain, a platform which shows where 950 Starbucks stores  offer free tap water and bottle refills.

For the third year, over 80 partners in the Netherlands partnered with NGO, Plastic Whale to take part in an Amsterdam canal clean-up. Plastic Whale’s mission is to make the world’s waters free of plastic and create things of value from the waste; such as the recent launch of its recycled plastic office furniture.  The team sailed boats made of recycled plastic through Amsterdam’s canal network, using fishing nets to clear the river of rubbish, and collected 22 bags of plastic waste from the canal.

Editor's note

Global Month of Service, taking place in April every year, is an opportunity for Starbucks partners (employees) from around the world give time to help community projects in need in their local area.