Starbucks To Eliminate Plastic Straws In Its Stores By 2020

Starbucks unveils environment-friendly lid for cold drinks which puts straws on shelf

By 2020, the company announced today, it will have entirely eliminated the use of single-use plastic straws in stores around the world. It's a plastic strawless lid that will come to replace single-use plastic straws that now inundate its coffee shops.

Straws made with alternative materials like paper and compostable plastic will be provided with Frappuccinos, as well as upon request by customers.

Starbucks predicts that it will eliminate more than 1 billion straws yearly.

"This is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways", Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive of Starbucks, said in a statement.

Starbucks said that it will begin using the strawless alternatives in Seattle and Vancouver stores by this fall, and expand to the USA and Canada, followed by other global locations, in fiscal year 2019.

Instead, Starbucks cups will have a strawless lid or an alternative-material straw option available.

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While straws have become a high-profile issue, they make up only about 4% of the plastic trash by number of pieces, and far less by weight.

An online petition calling on Starbucks to say goodbye to plastic straws has close to 150,000 signatures.

Starbucks designed, developed and manufactured a strawless lid, which will become the standard for all iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages.

Other communities across the country, including Sanibel Island, located in Florida, are also on the list of places considering a ban on these plastic products. And it's a part of Starbucks' $10 million investment in creating recyclable and compostable cups around the world. Oakland and Berkeley, California, and other cities have also banned the use of disposable straws.

"With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we can not afford to let industry sit on the sidelines", said Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy's Trash Free Seas program in a statement.

Earlier this month Seattle became the first major United States city to ban plastic straws and plastic cutlery in its eateries.

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