Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Starbucks to ditch plastic straws globally by 2020 to help environment

Plastics and other debris line an estuary in Kentucky Plastics and other debris line an estuary in Kentucky
Theresa Hayes | 09 July, 2018, 20:11

Starbucks announced Monday it is eliminating single-use plastic straws from all of its 28,000 stores by 2020.

Alternative-material straws such as paper or compostable plastic will be rolled-out for Frappuccino beverages, and they will also be available for customers upon request if they would prefer a straw.

To eliminate straws, Starbucks is transitioning from the flat, plastic lids that require them, to ones that feature a raised lip you can drink from.

"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.

According to a release, Starbucks said the lid is now available in more than 8,000 stores in the US and Canada for select beverages, including Draft Nitro and Cold Foam.

Vancouver will be the first Canadian city to have the new lids, starting in the fall of this year. "Metal straws can be unsafe for people with neurological conditions such as Parkinson's whereas reusable plastic straws present hygiene concerns to people with specific health conditions".

The coffee giant has designed, developed, and manufactured a strawless lid that will become the standard for all iced coffee, tea, and espresso beverages served in their locations around the world. The transition will be complete in 2019, the company said.

Other municipalities mulling over the same kind of measure include Portland and New York City; California is considering a statewide ban.

Starbuckshadalready committed $10 million to help develop recyclable, compostable cups for hot drinks.

WATCH: Plastic straw ban?

Other companies have also been ditching plastic straws in recent months. The Seattle-based carrier, which said it handed out 22 million stir straws and citrus picks a year ago, also said it would have non-plastic, marine-friendly drinking straws for travelers that request them.

"With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we can not afford to let industry sit on the sidelines, and we are grateful for Starbucks leadership in this space".

Today the company announced that it is getting rid of plastic straws everywhere by a certain date.