Disappointing stewardship from Tim Hortons

A classic case of a company organizing its operations to make externalities somebody else’s problem. Tim Hortons objects to the possibility that Toronto might slap a 25-to-30-cent tax on the coffee chain’s cups, which Toronto can’t recycle:

“This would only polarize people; it’s absolutely the wrong way to go,” said Nick Javor, senior vice-president of corporate affairs for the Canadian chain…

Tim Hortons is trying cups lined with corn starch, but Javor isn’t sure if they’ll hold up or their supply can be assured.

As for the tax, “We’re not a waste-management company,” he said. “Our product is very price-sensitive.”

(Emphasis mine.)

The tax, admittedly, seems steep. It does not cost 25 cents to landfill a single paper cup. But Tim Hortons’ response, if Javor has been accurately quoted by the Toronto Star, is stunning.

We sell the stuff. It’s convenient and cheap for us. You figure out what to do with the crap that’s left over. Don’t you dare try to make that our problem.

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