PHILADELPHIA (FOX 29) - Starbucks is installing safe needle deposit boxes in some store bathrooms after employees started a petition.
"I personally think it's a great idea. I'm actually a recovering addict myself." Evan knows the harrowing challenges of overcoming addiction and supports the addition of metal biohazard boxes in business bathrooms like the one in the Starbucks in Rittenhouse Square.
"There's only so much you can do for prevention and a lot of it I think is risk management, so I'm all for it personally," he said.
Starbucks started adding the boxes after employees started a petition saying they were sick of cleaning up needles from store bathrooms The petition posted on coworker.org has nearly 5,000 signatures nationwide. Workers posted they risk getting exposed to HIV/AIDS, Hep C and a variety of illnesses if they get poked by the needles when they are removed.
Philadelphia's own opioid crisis is well-documented with users shooting up in broad daylight.
"In reality, these people are dumping, like in Kensington. It's everywhere you look. You look on the ground it's right there no matter where you go," Jeanine Henderson said.
The Starbucks Corporate office says in a statement:
"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."
In the meantime, Evan says there is always hope for any addict looking to get clean.
"It's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life and to say that I regret everything that happened would almost be a disservice because it got me to where I am now and it got me here."