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Starbucks Environmental Leadership Drives Industry First with Use of the Only FDA Approved Recycled-Content Cup

Published 11-17-04

Submitted by Starbucks Corporation

SEATTLE - In an important step to further integrate leading environmental practices into its business, Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) announced today that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Starbucks supply chain member, Mississippi River Corporation, the first-ever approval to use recycled content in food packaging, specifically Starbucks hot beverage cups. Following successful testing, Starbucks expects to convert its hot beverage cups to 10 percent recycled material, an industry first.

"Beginning to use post-consumer recycled content hot beverage cups is an important milestone for Starbucks in addressing the environmental impact associated with our paper-buying practices," said Jim Donald, Starbucks ceo designate. "Starbucks goal is to convert hot cups in our U.S. company-operated retail stores by the end of calendar 2005. We will continue to explore ways to include recycled content in all Starbucks-branded paper goods in our stores."

Starbucks collaborated for more than two years with its suppliers Solo Cup Company, MeadWestvaco, and Mississippi River Corporation to obtain approval from the FDA for this historic innovation in food packaging. For the first time in its history, the FDA granted this approval to Mississippi River Corporation and its customers, MeadWestvaco and Solo Cup Company, in September of this year.

"We are tremendously excited to work with Starbucks, Solo Cup Company, and Mead-Westvaco, on the introduction of the first-ever recycled content hot beverage cup containing FDA approved recycled pulp manufactured by our company," said Edward S. Logan III, Mississippi River Corporation president and ceo. "We, and our employees, are proud to partner with these fine companies and commend their environmental commitment."

After testing in early 2005 to validate performance, quality, and safety issues, Starbucks expects to convert the recycled content cups into retail stores in the U.S. The hot beverage cups will look and perform the same, but the new cup is expected to lower the Company's dependence on tree fiber annually by more than five million pounds.

"As Starbucks continues to grow and expand its presence around the globe, we are actively working to incorporate environmental considerations in our business operations," said Ben Packard, Starbucks director of environmental affairs. "We hope to have other future 'firsts' as we continue to look for innovative ways to improve our environmental performance."

"Starbucks should be commended for its ground-breaking efforts of working toward environmentally friendly packaging options that benefit both forests and the businesses that rely on them," said David Ford, president and ceo of Metafore, a non-profit group that collaborates with leaders in business and society to create innovative, market-based approaches that support thriving forests and communities. "As a participant in our Paper Working Group project, Starbucks leadership in responsible purchasing of forest products gives other companies a clear path to follow."

Through participation in Metafore's Paper Working Group Starbucks seeks to increase their use of environmentally preferable paper.

Starbucks Environmental Leadership

Starbucks is committed to environmental leadership in all facets of the company and believes environmental stewardship is an essential component of its business performance. Starbucks continually looks for innovations that can help minimize the environmental footprint of its entire supply chain -- from embracing green building, energy and water conservation and waste reduction in retail stores and facilities, to leadership in improving coffee farming practices and environmental initiatives in local communities.

About Starbucks Coffee Company

Starbucks Corporation is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world, with more than 8,700 retail locations in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim. The Company is committed to offering the highest quality coffee and the Starbucks Experience while conducting its business in ways that produce social, environmental and economic benefits for communities in which it does business.

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Starbucks Corporation

Starbucks Corporation

It's the way we do business Contributing positively to our communities and environment is so important to Starbucks that it's a guiding principle of our mission statement. We jointly fulfill this commitment with partners (employees), at all levels of the company, by getting involved together to help build stronger communities and conserve natural resources.

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