- Starbucks has installed needle-disposal boxes in its locations’ bathrooms in at least 25 US markets as the chain works to address workers’ safety concerns in recent months.
- By summer 2019, the coffee giant plans to have installed sharps boxes in bathrooms in all regions where such action was deemed necessary.
- The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated Starbucks’ safety policies and practices in 2018 after two employees at a store in Eugene, Oregon, were stuck with hypodermic needles within a month of each other, according to documents obtained by Business Insider through a Freedom of Information Act request.
- Starbucks was fined $3,100 as a result of the investigation.
- Thousands of workers have called for Starbucks to install sharps boxes in its bathrooms as employees report finding blood and needles and being pricked by improperly discarded sharps, risking exposure to HIV and hepatitis.
Starbucks’ efforts to address opioid use and improperly disposed needles in its bathrooms are expanding.
Starbucks stores in at least 25 US markets have installed needle-disposal boxes in bathrooms in recent months. By this summer, the chain aims to have installed sharps boxes in bathrooms in all regions where such action has been deemed necessary.
The coffee giant also allows local district managers or store managers to put in requests to have sharps-disposal boxes installed in their locations’ bathrooms.
“We are always working and listening to our partners on ways we can better support them when it comes to issues like these,” Reggie Borges, a Starbucks representative, said in an email to Business Insider.
Starbucks has been testing solutions in recent months as workers’ safety concerns have mounted, with thousands of employees signing a petition calling for Starbucks to place needle-disposal boxes in high-risk bathrooms.
#Starbucks Needles & Coffee. 💉 ☕️
The Modern Opium Den: Starbucks Installs Needle-Disposal Boxes. t.co/DjXcQ0HIkX
— Das Krümel (@das_krumel) April 23, 2019
The Modern Opium Den: Starbucks Installs Needle-Disposal Boxes.
The 19th century had opium dens. We have Starbucks.
A little over half a year after it became the “world’s biggest public toilet”, Starbucks’ efforts to address the resulting spiraling drug use (including opioids) in its bathrooms – while alienating as many of its legacy clients as possible – are expanding.
According to Business Insider, Starbucks – which is now moonlighting as a safe house for both needles users across the country – will install needle-disposal boxes in bathrooms in stores in at least 25 US markets in the coming months. By this summer, the chain aims to have installed sharps boxes in bathrooms in all regions where such action has been deemed necessary. In other words, every Starbucks (public) bathroom will soon become a congregation space for both drug users and, soon after, their dealers.
“We are always working and listening to our partners on ways we can better support them when it comes to issues like these,” is how Starbucks representative Reggie Borges explained the company’s new drug-friendly strategy to Business Insider.
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