Starbucks to Eliminate Plastic Straws by 2020

Plastics and other debris line an estuary in Kentucky

Plastics and other debris line an estuary in Kentucky

Starbucks said that it will begin using the strawless alternatives in Seattle and Vancouver stores by this fall, and expand to the US and Canada, followed by other global locations, in fiscal year 2019.

Plastic straws will be phased out by 2020. Rather than continuing to use the familiar forest green straws that jut out of our grandes, Starbucks plans to roll out an "adult sippy cup" style with straw-less lids.

Plastic straws contribute to ocean pollution and pose a danger to marine life.

In the United Kingdom, the company has also placed taxes on paper cups, and worldwide, Starbucks offers a discount for customers who use reusable cups.

Starbucks' move is garnering lavish praise from some environmental activists.

That doesn't mean Starbucks is wrong to plan to ditch plastic straws by 2020: Research has proven that public awareness campaigns-when backed by science-guide overall behavior toward more sustainable consumption.

The changes are expected to start being implemented in the fall.

Starbucks' pushback against plastic has drawn a mixed reaction.

In conjunction with their straw-free initiative announcement, Starbucks debuted two new iced drinks Monday, the Iced Vanilla Bean Coconutmilk Latte and a Salted Cream Cold Foam Cold Brew.

Plastic straws typically cost less than a half-cent each, while paper varieties can easily run four times that, according to Kara Woodring, a sales representative at Aardvark, a Colo. -based paper straw manufacturer.

Others voiced concern for those who rely on straws due to disability.

McDonald's shareholders voted down a proposal requesting a report on plastic straws in May.

"We don't give them to people with their drinks automatically".

Starbucks has been quick to defend its decision on Twitter.

Mr Howitt says he doesn't want to see a ban on plastic straws put in place in New Zealand, but would rather see consumers refusing to use them. The push gained traction after a viral video in 2015 showed rescuers removing a straw from a sea turtle's nose in graphic detail.

Since then, social media movements, such as #StopSucking have attracted the support of celebrities like Ellen Pompeo, Adrian Grenier and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Straws are lower-hanging fruit in the battle against plastic, but hopefully it provides the motivation Starbucks needs to keep fighting in all the ways that count.

Of this figure, 6.3bn tonnes are now waste and 79% has accumulated in landfills or the natural environment. It is now the most popular alternative at major retailers.

"In 2011 it was estimated that 2.5 billion coffee cups were thrown away each year and that figure is likely to be higher now". The ultimate fix to the world's plastic problem?

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