Starbucks to eliminate plastic straws in stores globally by 2020

Starbucks

Starbucks is going strawless.

Starbucks's hometown of Seattle, for example, banned plastic straws and utensils beginning this month, while the California cities of Davis and San Luis Obispo prohibit restaurants from handing out plastic straws unless a customer requests one.

Starbucks has become the first major food and beverage company to ditch plastic straws.

One popular theory is that straws represent a kind of "gateway plastic" that can help corporations and consumers be more aware of their usage of nonbiodegradable products.

According to a press release, Starbucks will begin moving away from plastic straws and toward paper and compostable plastic this fall in stores in Seattle and Vancouver.

According to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the US alone.

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"For our partners and customers, this is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways", said Kevin Johnson, President and CEO of Starbucks. At the time, Starbucks wavered on the proposal; a company spokesperson told Mic that Starbucks would be developing a "recyclable and compostable cup solution", but wouldn't reveal specifically its plans for straws.

Allison Frankton from Christchurch is passionate about the environment, but she also wants to use a plastic straw.

Thyme & Again Creative Catering got rid of plastic straws nearly ten years ago, after the owner felt concerned about plastic pollution on land and in the ocean. Its straws will be replaced by sippy cup-like lids that are also plastic, but more recyclable. The campaign to reduce the use of straws gained steam in 2015 with a graphic viral video showing scientists pulling a plastic straw from a sea turtle's nostril.

These straw-free cups will be slowly interdouced to stores throughout the year with no mention yet as to when we can expect them here in Ireland.

Actor an environmental advocate Adrian Grenier says he delivered a statement to Starbucks shareholders in March pleading for the company to adopt more environmentally-friendly policies.

Local governments across the United States initially spearheaded the plastic-strawless movement. "We hope others will follow in [Starbucks'] footsteps".

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