Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Starbucks to ditch plastic straws globally by 2020 to help environment

Starbucks to ditch plastic straws globally by 2020 to help environment

Other cities, like Fort Meyers, have banned plastic straws as well.

In increasingly more coastal and even inland cities, the sight of restaurant patrons sipping drinks through plastic straws is becoming a memory as the movement to ban single-use plastic utensils gains traction. For Frappucinos (and upon request), there will be compostable plastic straws and paper straws in stores.

McDonald's Corp. said in June it will start rolling out paper straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland, with plans to phase out the plastic variety in all 1,361 locations there in 2019. According to a report by Swiss non-profit World Economic Forum, by the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

By the fall, all cold coffee beverages in Seattle and Vancouver will be served with the same strawless lid now offered for the cold brew drinks.

Engineers successfully developed a "cleaner, less-ridged version of a hot cup lid", and decided to make it the standard for all iced drinks except the Frappuccino, totally phasing out straws by the year 2020.

"There are several of these single-use items the public is realising, hey, we don't actually need these", said Denise Hardesty, a scientist with Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation who studies plastic pollution.

As well as the lid innovation, Starbucks has invested $10 million to conjure the design of a fully recyclable and compostable hot cup. 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. Right out of the gate, the bar and concert venue chose to offer paper straws instead of plastic ones.

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. "There is no reason for us to. use those things".

But, let's say-for the sake of argument-that as many as 500 million plastic straws are used in the U.S. every day. "As we partner with Starbucks in waste reduction initiatives such as Next Gen Consortium Cup Challenge and WWF's Cascading Materials Vision, we hope others will follow in their footsteps".

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