Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Starbucks To Eliminate Plastic Straws From All Of Its Stores By 2020

A patron holds an iced beverage at a Starbucks coffee store in Pasadena A patron holds an iced beverage at a Starbucks coffee store in Pasadena California
Theresa Hayes | 12 July, 2018, 22:38

Starbucks announced Monday that it would rid company stores of single-use plastic straws by 2020 and provide sustainable alternatives.

The move will affect its 28,000 stores across the globe and it means they are now the largest food and beverage company who have committed to do so.

To replace the straws, Starbucks also debuted images of its new strawless lids, which will begin to appear in Seattle and Vancouver locations this fall, with phased rollouts within the US and Canada to follow next year.

It comes days after Seattle became the first USA city to ban plastic straws, requiring all food service businesses to use recyclable or compostable utensils and packaging.

"With 8 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", Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancys Trash Free Seas program, said in the release. These wide, raised lids recycle smoothly, unlike Starbucks' current plastic straws.

Fast Food giant McDonald announced that they would look for ways to testing plastic-straw alternatives at its United States stores. "We'll never recycle our way out of the plastics crisis we're facing, so while eliminating petroleum plastic straws is a positive development, the company should not simply replace them with another throwaway item or material". Customers who prefer or require a straw can request one made from the new sustainable material.

Some Starbucks drinks, like cold brew with cold foam, are already served in cups with strawless lids.

The company previously announced a $10 million effort to develop and introduce a "fully recyclable and compostable hot cup", according to the news release.

But plastic straws make up a relatively small proportion of overall ocean debris: Data from California's coastal cleanup day, for example, shows that straws account for just 4% of waste.

Other cities, like Fort Meyers, have banned plastic straws. McDonald's locations across England and Ireland will already be compliant should her proposal become law, as it says it will be replacing plastic straws with a paper alternative in their 1,300 of its stores by September.

A global rollout of the strawless lid will begin in Europe, starting with select stores in France and the Netherlands.