Starbucks is eliminating plastic straws from all stores

Starbucks is eliminating plastic straws from all stores

The coffee giant said Monday that it will replace the ubiquitous plastic straw with recyclable "strawless lids", as well as straws made from biodegradable materials, as part of a no-plastic-straws movement that has gained momentum in recent years.

By 2020, consumers will no longer be able to get single-use plastic straws at all Starbucks stores globally. The company said that more than half of its beverage sales come from cold drinks, which typically come with a plastic straw.

The company says the move when fully implemented could mean a billion fewer plastic straws across its stores each year.

Environmental activists have been pressuring businesses to ditch plastic straws because they can end up in the ocean and hurt marine life.

Starbucks is among several major companies that have announced measures to cut plastic waste. Several other US cities have already implemented similar bans, or have proposed legislation in the works. "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".


"For our partners and customers, 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 officer for Starbucks, said in a statement.

Local governments have also been looking at the issue.

The announcement comes after Seattle, Starbucks' home market, banned restaurants from using plastic straws and utensils on July 1. Oakland and Berkeley, California, and other cities have also banned the use of disposable straws.

"With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we can not afford to let industry sit on the sidelines", he said in a statement.

Starbucks said that it will begin using the strawless alternatives in Seattle and Vancouver stores by this fall, and expand to the US and Canada, followed by other global locations, in fiscal year 2019.

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