Starbucks is looking to install needle-disposal boxes inside some of its store bathrooms after workers with the coffee giant shared concerns of discarded syringes littering the restrooms.
The coffee conglomerate is taking action after employees complained about the unsanitary conditions inside the bathrooms due to used needles slipping out of trash bags. Some employees expressed concerns about catching diseases if they came into contact with used needles.
Starbucks said it would look into installing sharps-disposal boxes similar to the ones found in most health care facilities in its store restrooms, as well as using heavy-duty trash bags in stores to prevent sharp needles from poking through.
“These societal issues affect us all and can sometimes place our partners (employees) in scary situations, which is why we have protocols and resources in place to ensure our partners are out of harm’s way,” Starbucks representative Reggie Borges told Business Insider.
The response from the coffee company came after more than 3,700 people signed a petition on Coworker.org, urging Starbucks to install the needle-disposal boxes in stores in areas at-risk for Hepatitis C or HIV exposure.
The company has already installed a few of these sharps boxes in some of its Seattle stores after receiving reports from employees about encountering used hypodermic needles while on the job.
In October, three Starbucks employees told KIRO they took anti-viral medication daily to protect themselves from HIV and hepatitis.