Starbucks to eliminate plastic straws in stores globally by 2020

Cristina Cross
July 10, 2018

The company said it will make a strawless lid available at 8,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada for certain drinks. It will then spread to European countries such as France, Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

This would apply to its more than 28,000 company operated and licensed stores, the coffee giant announced on Monday (Jul 9).

Say goodbye to plastic straws at Starbucks. The ordinance is a reflection of a broader global movement to cut back on plastic usage as consumers become more aware of its environmental impact-particularly its role in polluting the world's oceans.

Wes Knopp, the owner of Lone Light Coffee, said, "I think a majority of people would not get a plastic straw if they weren't provided with one automatically". In a release, the company stated its stores in Seattle and Vancouver would see the departure of plastic straws first, beginning in the fall.

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Sixteen Tampa Bay businesses have received national Ocean Friendly certification through the coalition by voluntarily banning foam products and plastic bags, only providing straws and to-go utensils upon request, and enforcing recycling programs. Similar proposals are being considered in places like NY and San Francisco. The Seattle-based carrier, which said it handed out 22 million stir straws and citrus picks past year, also said it would have non-plastic, marine-friendly drinking straws for travelers that request them.

Frappuccino drinks will still be served with dome lids, but with straws made from paper or compostable plastic.

While plastic drinking straws have become one of the more high-profile issues environmentally, they make up only about 4 percent of the plastic trash by number of pieces, and far less by weight.

The UK government said that 1 million birds and more than 100,000 sea mammals die each year from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste.

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