NATIONWIDE — Starbucks is saying goodbye to plastic straws.
The Seattle company announced Monday it will eliminate all plastic straws from its 28,000 locations by 2020.
The company said this could mean a billion fewer plastic straws each year once it is fully implemented.
Starbucks will move to recyclable, strawless lids on most of its iced drinks. The lid was originally designed for Starbucks’ Draft Nirto and its trademark cold foam. Now it’s the company’s answer for reducing waste and safeguarding the environment.
The exception to the new lid is the Frappuccino, which will be served with a straw made from paper or environmentally friendly plastic.
“Starbucks’ 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. “With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we cannot afford to let industry sit on the sidelines.”
Seattle, where Starbucks is headquartered, became one of the first major cities in the U.S. to ban plastic straws, and Starbucks’ recent announcement makes it one of the largest businesses to eliminate them.
“By nature, the straw isn’t recyclable and the lid is, so we feel this decision is more sustainable and more socially responsible,” said Chris Milne, director of packaging sourcing for Starbucks. “Starbucks is finally drawing a line in the sand and creating a mold for other large brands to follow. We are raising the water line for what’s acceptable and inspiring our peers to follow suit.”
Going strawless is just one of the steps Starbucks is taking to become more environmentally friendly. The company has invested $10 million in the NextGen Cup Challenge, which plans to make a fully recyclable and environmentally friendly hot cup.
(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)