Starbucks, citing environment, is ditching plastic straws

Cristina Cross
July 12, 2018

This new initiative is inspired by Seattle's recent ban on plastic straws, where Starbucks has its headquarters.

The company says the move, when fully implemented, could mean a billion fewer plastic straws across its stores each year. Frappuccino drinks will still come with a straw made from paper or compostable material-but it will only be available upon request.

Of course, Starbucks isn't alone in its quest to clean up its reputation by cleaning up the environment.

McDonald's said it would switch to paper straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland by next year and test alternatives to plastic straws in some US locations. In time, the cold-cup lids were rolled out into more than 8,000 stores across Canada and the USA and used for a handful of drinks, including Draft Nitro and Cold Foam drinks. Next up will be the rest of the 2019 and, eventually, Europe.

While this announcement is the most sizable effort, Starbucks has a history of working toward and promoting sustainability.

While the lids are still made of plastic, the java corporation said they are made of recyclable materials. In May, the European Union also suggested a ban on some plastic items, including straws. Last week, Seattle's ban on single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service outlets took effect, and Starbucks says it already offers alternative straws there.

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These straw-free cups will be slowly interdouced to stores throughout the year with no mention yet as to when we can expect them here in Ireland.

Starbucks has officially announced that by 2020 they will eliminate the global practice of using plastic straws in their outlets.

Already, other major companies are moving towards strawless.

"With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we can not afford to let industry sit on the sidelines", said Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy's Trash Free Seas program in a statement.

Have you ever given thought to how many of those unmistakable green plastic straws end up on our beaches and in our oceans each year? . It will be trialing a "5p" fee on takeaway hot drink cups, nicknamed a "latte levy," in London, with rollout to 950 other stores in the United Kingdom, to encourage use of reusable cups.

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