Starbucks to eliminate plastic straws by 2020

Plastics and other debris line an estuary in Kentucky

The coffee giant says it uses 1 billion plastic straws a year as its cold beverage sales grow, but will replace them with "strawless" lids and alternative materials.

The strawless lids will begin to appear in Seattle and Vancouver Starbucks this fall, with phased rollouts within the U.S. and Canada to follow next year.

Plastic straws will soon be out at Starbucks.

Starbucks will begin offering "strawless lids" on iced coffee, tea and espresso drinks. Starbucks said it has committed more than $10 million to this initiative so far.

Those straws will be provided for blended Frappuccino beverages, or by special request, the company said.

Starbucks' decision to stop using the straws follows last week's news that its founding city, Seattle, banned the use of all plastic straws and utensils in bars and restaurants in a push to reduce waste and prevent marine plastic pollution.


The no-straw movement, which had already been brewing in certain communities and beach towns, gained mainstream traction three years ago after a video showing a sea turtle with a plastic straw wedged in its nose went viral.

In a statement, CEO Kevin Johnson called the move away from plastic straws a "significant milestone" in the company's sustainability efforts. Other cities such as New York City and San Francisco as well as fast-food chains like McDonald's are also considering a ban on plastic straws.

Other companies have also been ditching plastic straws in recent months.

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.

"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.

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