Starbucks to Eliminate Plastic Straws by 2020

Starbucks citing ocean threat is ditching plastic straws

Starbucks to ditch plastic straws globally by 2020 to help environment

Global coffee giant Starbucks will ditch plastic straws from their cafes from 2020, becoming the largest food and beverage company to make the eco-friendly move.

The strawless lid has already been in use at numerous company's stores for certain kinds of cold drinks like cold foam and "draft nitro", the coffee drink that comes out of a keg, mixed with nitrogen. The move will help Starbucks eliminate as many as 1 billion straws per year, the company said. Customers who prefer a straw with their drink can ask for one.

The new lid is made from polypropylene plastic that can be widely recycled.

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

"The strawless lid is made from polypropylene, a commonly-accepted recyclable plastic that can be captured in recycling infrastructure, unlike straws which are too small [and] lightweight to be captured in modern recycling equipment", a spokesperson told Mic in an email.

The European Commission has proposed new rules that would ban the 10 biggest plastic pollutants found on Europe's beaches and in European waters, including plastic cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, stir sticks and balloon sticks.

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The coffee retailer will phase out single-use straws from its more than 28,000 locations, cutting out an estimated 1bn straws each year.

"Starbucks has designed, developed and manufactured a strawless lid, which will become the standard for all iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages", the company said in a news release. Seattle is believed to be the first major USA city to ban single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service, according to the Seattle Public Utilities.

Starbucks is transitioning to having a flat lid with a raised lip. In fact, eight metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans. Next, phased rollouts will start within the US and in Canada in 2019, followed by a global rollout starting in select stores in France, the Netherlands, and the UK.

The airline announced in May that single-use plastic stirrers and citrus picks would be replaced with sustainable organic versions made of white birch and bamboo, beginning this month.

Starbucks is saying goodbye to its signature green plastic straws.

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