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Protesters display 'giant cup monster' ahead of annual Starbucks meeting

KOMO photo

SEATTLE (KOMO) - Protesters paraded a "giant cup monster" outside the site of the annual Starbucks shareholders meeting on Wednesday morning, claiming that the Seattle-based coffee chain has never fulfilled a nine-year-old promise to make their cups recyclable.

The protest came as thousands of shareholders gathered outside McCaw Hall at Seattle Center for the meeting.

A group called "Stand.earth" displayed the scary-looking cup monster, which is made of 1,000 used Starbucks cups mounted on a shopping cart. But police prevented the protesters from building a 90-foot tall "coffee wall," as they had planned.

Protester Todd Paglia said Starbucks' claim that their cups are recyclable is not true. He says Starbucks agreed back in 2008 to create a 100 percent recyclable cup, but they still have not done so.

"Almost all of them end up going into dumps," he said. "They can't be recycled, and that costs the world a million trees every single year."

But a Starbucks employee at the meeting site tells KOMO Newsradio they are a very environmentally conscious company.

"Until you are part of the organization you don't realize all the good things they do. ... It's just incredible, our story," she said.

Meanwhile, thousands of Starbucks shareholders were funneling into McCaw Hall to hear what will be the final address from CEO Howard Schultz, who is stepping down from that position but will continue on as an executive.

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