Starbucks is ditching plastic straws

Starbucks to ditch plastic straws globally by 2020 to help environment

Starbucks to ditch plastic straws globally by 2020 to help environment

The company becomes the largest food and beverage company to do so as calls to cut waste globally grow louder.

While straws have become a high-profile issue, they make up only about 4% of the plastic trash by number of pieces, and far less by weight.

Starbucks pledged to remove plastic straws from more than 28,000 stores by providing two types of straw alternatives: recyclable strawless lids and an alternative-material straw option for beverages like Frappuccinos. Seattle is believed to be the first major US city to ban single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service, according to the Seattle Public Utilities. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May also introduced a plan in April to ban the sale of plastic straws. Similar proposals are being considered in places like NY and San Francisco. They essentially look like sippy cup lids - regular plastic lids with a raised and slanted mouthpiece for customers to drink from.

The exception to the new lid will be the Frappuccino, which will be served with a paper or compostable straw.

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"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. In March, for example, the company announced a $10 million challenge to design a disposable coffee cup that is compostable.

Say goodbye to plastic straws at Starbucks.

The announcement from McDonald's followed an April proposal by the United Kingdom government to ban plastic straws in the country.

The global coffee company has announced that this move will come with a reduction of one billion plastic straws from their stores throughout the world. Last year, Starbucks started testing straws made from materials in its Santa Cruz, California location. Straws add up to about 2,000 tons of the almost 9 million tons of plastic waste that ends up in the water each year. The strawless lid rollout will hit Seattle and Vancouver first, starting this fall, followed by "phased rollouts" in the USA and Canada during fiscal year 2019 and a global rollout beginning in Europe.

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