Starbucks announces move to ditch plastic straws by 2020

29 2018 a woman is seen in front of a Starbucks shortly before it closes early for anti-bias training in Washington DC. Starbucks was back in hot water

Starbucks has announced that it will stop handing out single-use plastic straws at its 28,000 stores around the world.

To replace straws, Starbucks will introduce an in-house-designed "strawless lid", which has an oval shape carved out near the edge for sipping, for all iced coffee and tea products.

That's right all plastic straws will be completely eliminated from Starbucks stores very soon, the company wants to get rid of them all by the year 2020.

The Seattle-based company will implement the lids for all cold, non-blended drinks first at its hometown and Vancouver locations this fall, with phased rollouts within the US and Canada to follow next year.

As momentum continues to build against the use of plastic straws, Starbucks said it is rolling out a lid with a teardrop shaped opening with a raised lip as an alternative. Next up will be the rest of the U.S.in 2019 and, eventually, Europe.


The company said at least 180 million 21-centimeter-long plastic straws are used at its stores in Korea annually.

"There are several of these single-use items the public is realising, hey, we don't actually need these, " said Denise Hardesty, a scientist with Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, which studies plastic pollution.

According to the Associated Press, scientists estimate 2,000 tons of straws end up in the ocean every year, posing a significant danger to marine life.

Starbucks had already committed $10 million to help develop recyclable, compostable cups for hot drinks. "With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we can not afford to let industry sit on the sidelines." . The move will affect around 5,000 restaurants in requiring alternative straw options and more strawless lids.

Still, those who support limiting plastic straws say they are generally unnecessary and a ban is good symbol. Other environment-friendly alternatives to plastic straws will include compostable straws and reusable cold cups, said the brand. A year ago in Santa Cruz, Calif., Starbucks started testing out straws made from materials other than traditional plastic. The business also urges customers to bring their own tumbler from home to reduce waste. "By nature, the straw isn't recyclable and the lid is, so we feel this decision is more sustainable and more socially responsible", said Starbucks' director of packaging sourcing Chris Milne.

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