Starbucks To Eliminate Plastic Straws In Its Stores By 2020

A Starbucks employee hands out coffee samples in Target in downtown Portland on Nov. 24 2017

Starbucks Coffee Co. plans to phase out single-use plastic straws from its more than 28,000 company-operated and licensed stores by 2020 in an effort to reduce its global waste footprint.

The coffee giant said Monday that it will replace the ubiquitous plastic straw with recyclable "strawless lids", as well as straws made from biodegradable materials, as part of a no-plastic-straws movement that has gained momentum in recent years.

"Starbucks has designed, developed and manufactured a strawless lid, which will become the standard for all iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages", the company said in a news release. Several other USA cities have already implemented similar bans, or have proposed legislation in the works. Plastic straws never completely decompose and can be harmful, even fatal, to animals that ingest them.

Starbucks will start the transition away from plastic straws in Seattle and in Vancouver in the fall, before launching a phased rollout in the U.S.in its fiscal 2019.

Frappuccino drinks will still be served with dome lids, but with straws made from paper or compostable plastic. McDonald's said earlier this year that it would stop using plastic straws at all of its stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

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Say goodbye to plastic straws at Starbucks.

The announcement from McDonald's followed an April proposal by the United Kingdom government to ban plastic straws in the country.

Seattle's ban on plastic straws and utensils went into effect last week.

A number of local governments have recently passed legislation restricting the use and distribution of plastic straws. Straws add about 1,800 tonnes of the more than eight million tonnes of plastic waste that is dumped into waters every year.

"With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we can not afford to let industry sit on the sidelines", he said in a statement.

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