A Starbucks employee hands out coffee samples in Target in downtown Portland on Nov. 24 2017
09 July, 2018, 18:39
Starbucks predicts that it will eliminate more than 1 billion straws yearly.
A week after its hometown banned plastic drinking straws and utensils, the Seattle company said Monday that by 2020, it will be using straws made from biodegradable materials like paper and specially designed lids. These now come with drinks like the Starbucks Draft Nitro and Cold Foam, and will come with the Salted Cream Cold Foam Cold Brew to be released on Tuesday.
Frappuccino drinks will still be served with dome lids, but with straws made from paper or compostable plastic.
While straws have become a high-profile issue, they make up only about 4% of the plastic trash by number of pieces, and far less by weight.
Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and CEO, called the move a "significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways". And it's a part of Starbucks' $10 million investment in creating recyclable and compostable cups around the world.
The strawless lids will begin to appear in Seattle and Vancouver Starbucks this fall, with phased rollouts within the United States and Canada to follow next year.
McDonald's shareholders voted down a proposal requesting a report on plastic straws in May. Oakland and Berkeley, California, and other cities have also banned the use of disposable straws.
"By nature, the straw isn't recyclable and the lid is, so we feel this decision is more sustainable and more socially responsible", said Chris Milne, director of packaging sourcing for Starbucks.
Starbucks said that it is the largest food and beverage retailer to have promised to get rid of plastic straws. "We hope others will follow in [Starbucks'] footsteps".