Friday, 21 September, 2018

Starbucks to Eliminate Plastic Straws by 2020

Courtesy of Starbucks Courtesy of Starbucks
Ginger Lawrence | 09 July, 2018, 16:42

Straws add about 1,800 tonnes of the more than eight million tonnes of plastic waste that is dumped into waters every year.

Starbucks announced on Monday it plans to eliminate plastic straws from its 28,000 stores worldwide by 2020. Swedish furniture giant IKEA recently announced that it will stop selling single-use plastic products at all its stores globally by 2020.

The changes will help Starbucks (SBUX) eliminate more than 1 billion plastic straws per year, the company said.

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

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.

Other companies have been ditching plastic straws as bans on the item have gone into place.

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McDonald's also said last month that it would replace plastic straws with paper ones in the United Kingdom and Ireland from September.

Similar proposals are being considered elsewhere, including in NY and San Francisco.

McDonald's shareholders voted down a proposal requesting a report on plastic straws in May.

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. Straws add up to only about 2,000 tons of the almost 9m tons of plastic waste that hits waters each year. Oakland and Berkeley, California, and other cities have also banned the use of disposable straws.

A global rollout of the strawless lid will begin in Europe, starting with select stores in France and the Netherlands.