Update: In response to the petition, the Museum of Ice Cream released the following statement:
As a brand dedicated to creating safe spaces for human engagement, we, MOIC, understand our role in doing good for humanity and the environment are mutually inclusive. Over the past year, we have increased our sustainable efforts and are continuing to expedite our processes and procedures to ensure our brand is increasingly sustainable from our in-office customs to our physical experiences.
We believe in being open and honest about our business practices and can promise that our biodegradable sprinkles will be replacing those at our MOIC San Francisco location. In 2017, we ceased of production of our previous sprinkle formula and have recycled many of our sprinkles, from previous cities, by re-using them as motionless design elements. In the interim, we have re-trained our MOIC team, rerouted the experience, added dividers, and hired additional staff members to ensure that the sprinkles from our installation are contained within MOIC’s vicinity.
Since it began melting the hearts of visitors in 2017, the Museum of Ice Cream in Union Square has, by and large, frozen out most potential criticism by endearing itself to tourists and locals alike.
But cooler heads may not prevail when it comes to the exhibition’s allegedly reckless application of fake plastic sprinkles, which a popular online petition alleges is actually an insidious source of plastic waste.
The petition, launched by the staff of the Care 2 petition site itself, says there’s nothing sweet about what happens when visitors take to sprinkling the streets after their visit:
“Those tiny plastic bits are getting stuck in people’s shoes and clothes and littering the streets as visitors leave, undoubtedly falling into storm drains in the process. This is extremely dangerous for our health, our environment and our wildlife. Please sign this petition urging the Museum of Ice Cream to replace the plastic sprinkles with a biodegradable alternative or remove the sprinkle pool until an alternative is in place.
“[...] We wouldn’t want to eat plastic sprinkles with our ice cream, and we shouldn’t expect our marine life to eat them either.”
Care 2 aimed the petition at the Museum of Ice Cream sites in SF, Los Angeles, New York City, and Miami.
While skeptics may assume glazed expressions when lectured about the environmental risks of sprinkles, ice cream lovers may feel bowled over by the actual response to the petition, which as of Friday, has more than 18,000 signatures and is closing in on its target of 19,000.
Nor is this the first time the museum has found itself treated with concern over this very issue. In January, the city of Miami fined the museum $1,000 for “creating an environmental hazard” and prompted the Miami facility to hire a new cleaning crew.
In response, the museum told the Miami New Times:
We continually remind every guest to do a double shake upon leaving to ensure everyone has shaken off any sprinkles INSIDE of our walls. Our goal is to continue our sustainable efforts and amplify them to be even more efficient. [...] We are dedicated to continuous improvement with our environmental efforts and are proud to support sustainability in all of our locations.
The museum has not yet responded to requests for comment about the petition.
What do you think? Is the sprinkle pool peachy after all, or will the museum be getting its just desserts if complaints continue?
- Museum of Ice Cream Expands [Curbed SF]
- Museum Has Huge Environmental Problem [Petition Site]
- Sprinkles Deemed Hazard [Miami New Times]
- Museum of Ice Cream and their dastardly sprinkles extend SF run [Curbed SF]