I don't read The Sun regularly but there was a copy of today's paper lying around when I was out this morning - I noticed their piece on Starbucks wasting 6.2 million gallons of water each day - apparently through a 'health policy' that requires a constantly running tap at each store. It was only on Sunday that I was writing about the need for water conservation (see here) it is quite extraordinary that companies can come up with such policies - movement sensitive taps have long been available.
The BBC have also run with the story and a Starbucks spokesperson confirms the use of a dipper well, which uses "a stream of continuous cold fresh-running water to rinse away food residue, help keep utensils clean, and prevent bacterial growth." Dipper wells are common at coffee and ice-cream shops, but the hugeness of Starbucks' global operations is such that, according to The Sun, the amount of wasted water could sate the thirst of "the entire 2-million-strong population of drought-hit Namibia ... or fill an Olympic pool every 83 minutes."
"Leaving taps running all day is a shocking waste of precious water," says Peter Robinson of U.K. green group Waste Watch. "And to claim you are doing it for health and safety reasons is bonkers." See Sun here with pics. Starbucks now says it is looking into alternatives.