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Award-winning actor Alan Cumming is urging Starbucks to ditch its vegan milk surcharge.

The coffee giant offers a range of plant-based milks but charges extra in some locations such as the US.

Vegan milk surcharge

Cumming has therefore written a letter to Starbucks Canada Senior Vice President Lori Digulla.

It reads: “More than a year ago, Starbucks acknowledged that cow’s milk is the company’s biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions.

“Yet it continues to penalize customers for making green and humane choices by charging them extra for vegan milk…

“If Starbucks really wants to help the planet, it must do more than just talk about its goals. It’s time to take action.”

Starbucks’ sustainability commitment

Last year, Starbucks released a ‘sustainability statement’ saying it aims to become ‘resource positive’. This means it should store more carbon than it emits. It also pledged to eliminate waste and provide more clean freshwater than it uses.

Speaking about the statement, CEO Kevin Johnson said plant-based milk will be ‘a big part of the solution’ when it comes to reducing its footprint for greenhouse gases, water, and waste.

According to the chain, dairy products are responsible for over a fifth of its greenhouse gas emissions and over a seventh of its water use.

Now according to reports, Johnson will ‘push consumers to choose milk made from almond, coconuts, soy or oats, whose production is environmentally friendlier than dairy’.

“Alternative milks will be a big part of the solution,” he said. “The consumer-demand curve is already shifting.”

Petition

Cumming’s appeal follows a petition created by vegan charity PETA – which says Starbucks should be ‘encouraging customers to choose animal-friendly, vegan milks rather than cow’s milk’.

At the time of writing, the petition has garnered more than 138,000 signatures. It states: “Many other chains—including Wawa, Panera Bread, Pret A Manger, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Noah’s New York Bagels, Philz Coffee, and Costa Coffee—already offer dairy-free milk at no extra charge.”

You can urge Starbucks to ditch its vegan milk surcharge here

Liam Giliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.