Starbucks Starts Recycling … Muffins?

by Alyssa Oursler | September 5, 2012 3:35 pm

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX[1]) is trying to reduce its environmental footprint in Hong Kong by testing a new recycling process that will turn old, stale baked goods and old coffee grounds into bio-plastics and laundry detergent.

The program aims to prevent nearly 5,000 tons of leftovers from being dumped into landfills, incinerated or composted.

This isn’t the company’s first attempt to lessen its environmental impact. Earlier this summer it debuted a greener hot-cup sleeve, called the Earthsleeve, which is said to help save about 100,000 trees.

It’s also not the company’s first attempt this year to try something new. It has added lots of scattered new offerings lately in an attempt to appeal to everyone.

It batted its eyelashes at the on-the-go crowd by adding vending machines and introducing its own single-serve machine. It also announced the new option of paying by smartphone.

Is the company trying to do too much to appeal to too many demographic groups?

InvestorPlace Editor Jeff Reeves, for one, thinks the company’s moves are just plain dumb and display a lack of focus[2]. Assistant Editor Marc Bastow, on the other hand, is a much bigger fan of the company and its growth prospects[3].

Either way, you can’t really argue with the company’s strong hold on the coffee industry, despite players like Dunkin Donuts (NASDAQ:DNKN[4]), McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD[5]) and Caribou Coffee (NASDAQ:CBOU[6]). And you can’t argue with the company’s 32% gains since January.

As of writing this, Alyssa Oursler did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

  1. SBUX:
  2. lack of focus:
  3. growth prospects:
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