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Starbucks Coffee Grounds: A Green Thumbs Up
Starbucks Offers Complimentary Coffee Grounds for Composting


SEATTLE; March 12, 2001 – With spring just around the corner, gardens everywhere are waking up from the winter chill and craving a good cup of coffee – compost made with coffee grounds that is. To help get gardens off to a healthy start this spring, Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) is once again offering customers complimentary spent coffee grounds for their garden. What begins as a great cup of coffee can essentially be a treat for the garden.

“Coffee grounds can be a valuable source of nutrition for the garden,” said Ben Packard, environmental affairs manager for Starbucks. “At Starbucks, we strive to find innovative and creative ways to positively contribute to a healthier environment. Reusing coffee grounds in the garden is a great way to avoid disposing of this rich resource from our stores.”

Starbucks coffee grounds recycling program is a grass roots effort that was started by customers more than six years ago. Spent coffee grounds are complimentary upon request at Starbucks retail locations and are available year-round as they are generated. Grounds are packaged in reused coffee bags and sealed with the Starbucks Coffee Grounds as Compost sticker.

“Many consumers are unaware of the fact that by-products from the kitchen make excellent additions to compost,” said Ginny Black, communications chairperson of the United States Composting Council. “Coffee grounds are rich in nutrients and beneficial for any backyard compost effort. The U.S. Composting council applauds Starbucks for their environmentally responsible donation and encourages consumers to take advantage of this generous opportunity.”

To begin composting at home, Black recommends gardeners fill a wooden or plastic bin with a mixture of leaves and other yard trimmings and then mix in coffee grounds and kitchen scraps (no animal products). To help the pile decompose faster, it is important to make sure that the materials are moist (like a wrung-out sponge) but not soggy. Aerating the pile by mixing and turning also encourages the composting process. Compost is ready for the garden when it has fully decomposed into a dark rich soil-like material. A half-inch to an inch of compost on top of the soil feeds plants, prevents plant diseases, suppresses weeds and conserves water.

The proper amount of coffee grounds to be used depends on soil condition and what is being grown in a garden. Contact a local gardening expert to learn what is best for your region.

Starbucks Coffee Company is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world. In addition to its retail locations in North America, the United Kingdom, the Pacific Rim and the Middle East, Starbucks sells coffee and tea products through its specialty operations, including its online store at Starbucks.com. Additionally Starbucks produces and sells bottled Frappuccino® coffee drink and a line of superpremium ice creams through its joint venture partnerships. The Company's other brands enhance the Starbucks Experience through best-of-class products: Tazo Tea Company offers a line of innovative premium teas, and Hear Music produces and distributes a line of exceptional compact discs.

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