Starbucks to eliminate plastic straws in all stores by 2020

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

Instead, its beverages will be capped with strawless lids - reminiscent of an "adult sippy cup" - or served with straws made from alternative materials "including paper or compostable plastic", according to a statement. McDonald's shareholders voted down a proposal requesting a report on plastic straws in May, although it recently said it would switch to paper straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland by next year, and test alternatives to plastic straws in some USA locations.

As BBC News reported in February, a Scotland-based disability group called One in Five says paper, plant-based, and metal straws aren't adequate substitutes for single-use plastic straws and could even be unsafe for people, depending on their disability. Its beverages will feature recyclable lids featuring a raised lip, like those pictured here.


The environmentally friendly lid is now available in more than 8,000 of its stores in the US and Canada for select beverages, including Draft Nitro and Cold Foam.

The announcement comes a week after Seattle, where the coffee house is headquartered, became one of the first high-profile cities in the U.S.to ban straws. A global rollout of the strawless lids will follow, beginning in Europe where the will be used in select stores in France and the Netherlands, as well as in the United Kingdom.

Starbucks (sbux) will replace plastic straws with recyclable strawless lids, which it will serve with all of its iced coffee, tea, and espresso drinks. The Seattle-based carrier, which said it handed out 22 million stir straws and citrus picks a year ago, also said it would have non-plastic, marine-friendly drinking straws for travelers that request them.


Engineers successfully developed a "cleaner, less-ridged version of a hot cup lid", and decided to make it the standard for all iced drinks except the Frappuccino, totally phasing out straws by the year 2020.

Plastic straws will soon be out at Starbucks. The transition will be complete in 2019, the company said.

Other companies have also been ditching plastic straws in recent months.


"With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we can not afford to let industry sit on the sidelines, and we are grateful for Starbucks leadership in this space".

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