Starbucks to Eliminate Plastic Straws by 2020

Starbucks to Eliminate Plastic Straws by 2020

Starbucks to Eliminate Plastic Straws by 2020

"With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we can not afford to let industry sit on the sidelines", Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy's Trash Free Seas program, said regarding Starbucks' announcement on Monday. Its straws will be replaced by sippy cup-like lids that are also plastic, but more recyclable. Among the big names advocating for straw bans are actor Adrian Grenier, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, and actor Kendrick Sampson.

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

The use of plastic lids has been criticised by some consumers.

"Starbucks taught the world how to drink coffee and I firmly believe that Starbucks can teach the world how to make the environment its ultimate business partner", Grenier said.

Thompson said coffee shops will continue to be creative to find affordable, alternative options.

Straws will soon be a thing of the past.

"There's so many single-use plastics that could be targeted before straws which disabled people use to drink independently and with dignity".

Batey says it cuts down on waste, plus the cost and storage of straws.

"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.

It's predicted that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than marine life.

To combat this some bars and hotels across the country have stopped supplying plastic straws but instead have opted for paper or steel straws. "That takes 400,000 straws off the market just every month". For Frappucinos (and upon request), there will be compostable plastic straws and paper straws in stores.

With Starbucks joining the movement, who's to say what's next?

Corina Cote is a member from Last Straw Ottawa.

Why don't the alternatives work? They do have to ask for the straw. The new lids are already being used in more than 8,000 stores in North America for beverages such as draft nitro.

Also see: What kind of straws are actually eco-friendly?

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