Starbucks, citing environment, is ditching plastic straws

Federico Mansilla
Julio 9, 2018

Starbucks announced Monday it will eliminate single-use plastic straws from its more than 28,000 stores around the world.

For some Starbucks drinkers, the companys new strawless lid may look familiar.

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The plastic straw is going the way of the Unicorn Frappuccino.

"This move is an answer to our own partners about what we can do to reduce the need for straws", said Colleen Chapman, vice president of Starbucks global social impact overseeing sustainability.

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

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A global rollout of the strawless lids will follow, beginning in Europe where they will be used in selected stores in France and the Netherlands, as well as in the United Kingdom.

An online petition calling on Starbucks to say goodbye to plastic straws has close to 150,000 signatures.

According to a release, Starbucks said the lid is now available in more than 8,000 stores in the USA and Canada for select beverages, including Draft Nitro and Cold Foam. Last week, Seattle became the latest city to ban plastic utensils and straws.

A number of local governments have recently passed legislation restricting the use and distribution of plastic straws. The Seattle-based carrier, which said it handed out 22 million stir straws and citrus picks previous year, also said it would have non-plastic, marine-friendly drinking straws for travelers that request them.

Starbucks predicts that it will eliminate more than 1 billion straws yearly.

"Plastic straws that end up in our oceans have a devastating effect on species", said Erin Simon, director of sustainability research & development and material science at World Wildlife Fund, US, in a statement.

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