Starbucks Will Stop Selling Water Bottled In Drought

California is looking for any possible way to conserve its water. Governor Jerry Brown had to institute California’s first-ever statewide mandatory water restrictions, as the state has entered its fourth year of severe drought. And since Nestlé is refusing to stop bottling its water, the state needs all the help it can get.

As California’s historically bad drought has progressed, some companies have come under fire for bottling water in the state and selling it at a huge markup.

Starbucks’ Ethos brand, which donates a small portion of its profits to “support water, sanitation and hygiene education programs in water-stressed countries,” had been sourced and bottled in water-starved California. The brand’s message seemed at odds with its business practices, and with California residents forced to cut back on their water consumption.

On Thursday the coffee giant responded to the criticism by pledging to move its source to Pennsylvania within six months. Hopefully this will spur more nationwide awareness of the conditions in California, which show no signs of abating.

Amidst mounting criticism, Starbucks is announcing its plans to stop using California water as a source for the brand Ethos Water.

Amidst mounting criticism, Starbucks is announcing its plans to stop using California water as a source for the brand Ethos Water.

In a press release, the company says, “Due to the serious drought conditions and necessary water conservation efforts in California, Starbucks is moving the sourcing and manufacturing of Ethos Water out of state.”

Last week, a report by the publication Mother Jones discussed multiple aspects of Ethos Water’s operations in California including a bottling plant in Merced, which falls under the “Exceptional Drought” category.

The story was widely covered by various media sources.

In this morning’s announcement, Starbucks noted, “Beginning the first week of May and over the next six months, Starbucks plans to move production to its Pennsylvania supplier, while simultaneously exploring alternatives to transition to a new source and supplier to serve the company’s West Coast distribution.”

Starbucks is not the first company to come under scrutiny in California amidst historic drought conditions.

In its report, Mother Jones also listed several other major brands that source water from the state.

What do you think of Starbucks’ announcement?

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