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Coffee City

Melissa Allison follows the world's biggest coffee-shop chain and other Seattle caffeine purveyors.

March 21, 2010 at 12:14 PM

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Poll: Should Starbucks recycle more? And other questions before Wednesday's annual meeting

Posted by Melissa Allison

Tino.jpgStarbucks goes through 3 billion paper cups and 1 billion plastic cups a year, and a shareholder proposal asks that it do more to recycle them, plus its bottles and cans.

The result should be available at Wednesday's annual meeting, which will be webcast live at 10 a.m. Such proposals almost never win, because big companies like Starbucks are owned mostly by mutual funds and other institutions that follow corporate guidance. (The proposal and Starbucks' "vote no" recommendation are in a previous post.) As You Sow hopes the vote will get the company into talks.

Still, it raises interesting questions, many of which I covered in today's paper, including thoughts from Stumptown Coffee and former Starbucks store manager Tino Ganacias, pictured, who now owns Empire Espresso Bar in Columbia City.

How would you vote on the proposal? And do you think Starbucks investors should get a dividend, given its $1.3 billion in cash? At last year's meeting, CFO Troy Alstead said it would "evaluate a dividend as a possibility."

Finally, will Starbucks have enough pastries on Tuesday? It's giving out coupons for a free pastry with drink purchase until 10:30 a.m. During a similar promotion last summer, a lot of shops ran out before that time. The deal does not include some stores, like those in airports, Barnes & Noble bookstores and much of Hawaii.

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