Starbucks to phase out plastic straws by 2020

Starbucks announced a plan to eliminate plastic straws from all of its stores by 2020, a move that it says is aimed at making its coffee more environmentally sustainable.
By Rick Docksai | Nov 30, 2018
Starbucks announced Monday that it is eliminating plastic straws from its stores worldwide over the next two years in the interests of environmental sustainability. The phase-out is expected to remove more than a billion plastic straws a year from the company's inventory.

"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," Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

The company said that it will instead top off its beverages with recyclable, straw-less lids featuring raised lips from which the buyers can sip. It will also offer straws made of biodegradable materials, such as paper or compostable plastic, for its blended Frappuccino beverages. Customers will be able to specially request these straws for any other beverage order, as well, the company said.

The strawless lid is already appearing on certain beverages at more than 8,000 Starbucks establishments in the United States and Canada. The company said that it will roll out the new lid for all of beverages at the Seattle and Vancouver stores beginning this fall.

Customers will not see any price increases as a result of the new lids or the straw phase-out, a company spokesperson added.

Starbucks joins a growing list of businesses that have recently made plans to cut back on plastic. Alaska Airlines announced in May that it is replacing all of its plastic straws with biodegradable alternatives, and McDonald's said in January that it will end its use of plastic foam cups by 2020 and that its restaurants in the UK will all replace their plastic straws with paper ones by September of this year.

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