Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Research | By Derrick Holloway

Starbucks To Forgo Plastic Straws By 2020 Over Ocean Threat

Starbucks To Forgo Plastic Straws By 2020 Over Ocean Threat

Starbucks Coffee Co. plans to phase out single-use plastic straws from its more than 28,000 company-operated and licensed stores by 2020 in an effort to reduce its global waste footprint.

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

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Straws made with alternative materials like paper and compostable plastic will be provided with Frappuccinos, as well as upon request by customers.

While straws have become a high-profile issue, they make up only about four per cent of the plastic trash by number of pieces, and far less by weight.

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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.

Last week, Seattle became the country's first major city to ban single use plastic straws.

These straw-free cups will be slowly interdouced to stores throughout the year with no mention yet as to when we can expect them here in Ireland.

I am pleased with the announcement, too, and eagerly await the day when needlessly sipping on a straw is seen as a harmful and archaic behavior.

Starbucks customers use more than one billion straws per year.

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

Grenier, best known for his role in the TV show Entourage, urged Starbucks at its March shareholders meeting in Seattle to take action.

Starbucks said the conversion will be complete by 2020. "The siren is calling". In March, for example, the company announced a $10 million challenge to design a disposable coffee cup that is compostable.

Instead, Starbucks cups will have a strawless lid or an alternative-material straw option available. Phased rollouts within the United States and Canada will then follow.

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