Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Starbucks: No more plastic straws

Starbucks: No more plastic straws

That's right all plastic straws will be completely eliminated from Starbucks stores very soon, the company wants to get rid of them all by the year 2020. Instead, Starbucks announced in a press release, it will start using "strawless lids" and straws made from "alternative materials", such as paper or "compostable plastic".

Starbucks announced plans to eliminate more than 1 billion plastic straws per year from its stores worldwide by 2020. Its beverages will feature recyclable lids featuring a raised lip, like those pictured here.

The recyclable lids are already in use in about 8,000 Starbucks locations in the United States and Canada, the company said.

Starting this fall Starbucks customers in Seattle and Vancouver will be the first to receive the strawless lids, with phased rollouts in the USA and Canada coming in fiscal year 2019.

The design was created by R&D engineer Emily Alexander, who was asked in 2016 to create a new straw-less lid that would showcase the Draft Nitro coffee and cold foam served at a Reserve store in Seattle.

Starbucks' newly designed strawless lid will be used for all iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages. McDonald's said in June it would start switching to paper straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland in September.

The coffee retailer will also begin offering straws made from alternative materials - including paper or compostable plastic - for Frappuccino beverages.

On July 1, Seattle became the first USA city to ban plastic straws, spoons, forks and knives. Starbucks said it has committed more than $10 million to this initiative so far.

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

"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".

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