Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Starbucks announces plan to eliminate plastic straws by 2020

Starbucks announces plan to eliminate plastic straws by 2020

It's a plastic strawless lid that will come to replace single-use plastic straws that now inundate its coffee shops.

Starbucks, citing the environment threat to oceans, will ban plastic straws from all of its stores globally in less than two years.

The company will broaden the manufacture and use of what some in social media have dubbed the "adult sippy cup".

Starbucks says that customers in Seattle and Vancouver will be the first to go strawless beginning this fall, with more markets to follow.

In a move meant to cut back on waste, the worldwide coffee giant said Monday that it would eliminate plastic straws from its more than 28,000 locations globally by 2020.

McDonald's recently said it would switch to paper straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland by next year, and test alternatives to plastic straws in some USA locations.

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At Starbucks, executives said the efforts are part of a $10 million plan to develop cups and lids that are fully recyclable and compostable.

Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and CEO, called the move a "significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways". It is now also in the middle of testing paper straws in its United Kingdom stores. Plastic straws have become a flashpoint.

Local governments have also been looking at the issue. Straws add up to about 2,000 tons of the almost 9 million tons of plastic waste that ends up in waters around the globe each year.

"By nature, the straw isn't recyclable and the lid is, so we feel this decision is more sustainable and more socially responsible", said Chris Milne, director of packaging sourcing for Starbucks.

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

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