Due to the ongoing drought in California, coffee giant Starbucks has announced that it has plans to relocate production of its Ethos Water brand to Pennsylvania.
According to a statement on the official Starbucks website, the relocation is currently a six-month stint that will have Ethos Water bottles be produced at the company’s Pennsylvania plant, while Starbucks tries to find distribution “alternative” for west coast operations.
The statement continues by stating that Starbucks has already cut back water usage in California stores by 26 percent because of the ongoing drought. John Kelly, the company’s senior vice president of Global Responsibility and Public Policy, mentioned that the decision to relocate production to Pennsylvania came as a way to “accelerate water conservation.”
“We are committed to our mission to be a globally responsible company and to support the people of the state of California as they face this unprecedented drought.”
This announcement comes after Starbucks was criticized by Mother Jones for still having an Ethos Water production plant in California as residents of the state are being forced to cut back on usage. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Governor Jerry Brown announced a plan to impose a fine between $500 and $10,000 for California residents who waste water. Many cities have held back on issuing citations, but Los Angeles reportedly has issued 10 to water wasters that went for either $100 or $200.
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) May 8, 2015
Anna Lenzer, who penned the Mother Jones article, noted that the Ethos Water bottling plant was located in Merced, California, an area listed in “exceptional drought,” and the water is obtained from a spring in nearby Baxter, California, which is also listed in “exceptional drought.” Ironically, Ethos Water was created in 2002 with a mission to help third world countries facing water problems. Starbucks acquired the company in 2005.
Lenzer noted that she had reached out to a Starbucks representative in regards to the use of the spring while California is facing a drought. The spokesperson said the spring is not open to the public.
“[It’s] a private spring source that is not used for municipal water for any communities.”
But the water from private streams can have an impact on those in public communities, as pointed out Mary Scruggs, a representative for the California Department of Water Resources. Scruggs said it is possible if people remove water from the private springs “before it ever makes it” to public areas.
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]