We have some great news! After countless petitions and consumers calling for action, Starbucks is going strawless! The coffee giant announced its plans to phase out plastic straws from all its stores globally by 2020. According to the company, the move away from plastic straws, instigated by the harmful environmental aspect of their use, will eliminate more than one billion straws per year.
In order to render plastic straws needless, Starbucks will be transitioning from the regular flat plastic lids to a new kind of lid with a raised lip to drink from, the company shared in a news release. Frappuccino drinks will continue to be served with dome lids that require straws, but the straws themselves will no longer be plastic ones but alternatives made from paper or special compostable plastic. The new versions will also be available with other drinks upon request for those who prefer or need to use straws.
The first of the new and improved lids will roll out on all drinks this fall, starting with Starbucks stores in Vancouver and Seattle. Next, phased rollouts will start within the U.S. and in Canada in 2019, followed by a global rollout starting in select stores in France, the Netherlands, and the UK.
“For our partners and customers, this is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways,” said Kevin Johnson, President and CEO of Starbucks.
Ditching plastic straws is a positive move for the company, but it is clear they still have a ways to go on removing plastic cups and lids from their repertoire. Thankfully, the company has also already committed $10 million to help develop hot drink cups that will be recyclable and compostable. We hope that this first step is one of many to come to lower the coffee giant’s impact on the planet.
Plastic straws have recently been targeted by a number of companies, including big names like McDonald’s and KFC. Straws are also being under fire from governments, including the European Commission, which suggested a ban on a number of disposable plastic items. In the U.S., around 500 million plastic straws are used every year. To find out how you can be a part of the change by ditching straws and other single-use plastics, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
All image source: Starbucks