Starbucks To Eliminate Plastic Straws In Its Stores By 2020

Starbucks citing environment is ditching plastic straws

Swedish furniture giant IKEA recently announced that it will stop selling single-use plastic products at all its stores globally by 2020.

This announcement makes Starbucks the largest food and beverage retailer to commit to such a global commitment, and the plan will eliminate more than 1 billion plastic straws a year. As Fast Company reported, plastic straws have been banned or are planned to be banned by Alaska Airlines and McDonald's U.K., as well as in Vancouver, the U.K., Taiwan, Seattle, Miami Beach, and in California cities such as Oakland and Berkeley, to name a few.

"Starbucks ('s) decision to phase out single-use plastic straws is a shining example of the important role that companies can play in stemming the tide of ocean plastic", said Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy's Trash Free Seas program.

Starbucks (sbux) will replace plastic straws with recyclable strawless lids, which it will serve with all of its iced coffee, tea, and espresso drinks. Plastic straws have become a flashpoint.

The company said new lids will be rolled out at locations in North America this year and next, followed by Europe and the rest of the world.

Other cities, like Fort Meyers, have banned plastic straws as well. Plastic straws never completely decompose and can be harmful, even fatal, to animals that ingest them.

Starbucks said the conversion will be complete by 2020.

Straws are a small contributor to the overall plastic problem, but they are an easy target since most people don't require a straw to consume a beverage.

The strawless lids will begin to appear in Seattle and Vancouver Starbucks this fall, with phased rollouts within the USA and Canada to follow next year. Straws add up to about 2,000 tons of the almost 9 million tons of plastic waste that ends up in waters around the globe each year.

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