Friday, 21 September, 2018

The last straw? Starbucks pledges to eliminate plastic straws globally by 2020

Starbucks citing ocean threat is ditching plastic straws Starbucks to ditch plastic straws globally by 2020 to help environment
Sandy Nunez | 10 July, 2018, 05:00

Starbucks announced Monday it is eliminating single-use plastic straws from all of its 28,000 stores by 2020.

The plastic straws will be replaced by recyclable lids that have a small raised opening allowing consumers to sip their drink, a model that has already been road tested on some of the company's cold beverages in the USA and Canada.

Starbucks will eliminate plastic straws from its globally stores by 2020 to reduce environmental plastic pollution, the company says.

Considered the most eco-friendly option because of how long they can last, these re-usable straws come in aluminum, stainless steel and titanium and are rustproof.

In order to become more sustainable than ever, Starbucks will implement the lids for iced drinks across all of its stores. McDonald's, which is the world's second largest fast food chain, made headlines back in March for implementing a paper straw pilot program in their United Kingdom stores.

Other municipalities mulling over the same kind of measure include Portland and New York City; California is considering a statewide ban.

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Straws are a small contributor to the overall plastic problem, but they are an easy target since most people don't require a straw to consume a beverage.

The company will also begin offering straws made from alternative materials - including paper or compostable plastic - for Frappuccino blended beverages, and available by request for customers who prefer or need a straw.

In June, McDonald's said it would start switching to paper straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland in September, completing the transition in 2019. The burger chain also said this year it would use only recycled or other environmentally friendly materials for its soda cups, Happy Meal boxes and other packaging by 2025.

The announcement comes after Seattle, Starbucks' home market, banned restaurants from using plastic straws and utensils on July 1. A global rollout will follow, beginning in Europe.

The US company claim the move will mean one billion fewer straws are handed out. 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 world's largest coffeehouse chain, Starbucks, is ditching plastic straws in a bid to become more sustainable.