Starbucks plans to stop offering plastic straws by 2020

Marco Green
July 9, 2018

Environmental activists have been pressuring businesses to ditch plastic straws because they can end up in the ocean and hurt marine life. Coffee drinkers who prefer straws for other beverages can request the new eco-friendly versions. The company already offers alternative straws in Seattle.

"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", Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer for Starbucks, said in a statement.

The strawless lids will begin to appear in Seattle and Vancouver Starbucks this fall, with phased rollouts within the US and Canada to follow next year.

The announcement from McDonald's followed an April proposal by the United Kingdom government to ban plastic straws in the country. In May, the European Union also suggested a ban on some plastic items, including straws.

Local governments have also been looking at the issue.

A week after its hometown banned plastic drinking straws and utensils, the Seattle company said Monday that by 2020, it will be using straws made from biodegradable materials like paper and specially designed lids.

Straws add about 1,800 tonnes of the more than eight million tonnes of plastic waste that is dumped into waters every year. Phased rollouts within the USA and Canada will then follow.

The company said it is the largest food and beverage retailer to make such a commitment-a decision that will eliminate more than 1 billion plastic straws per year from its stores. Straws add up to only about 2,000 tons of the almost 9m tons of plastic waste that hits waters each year.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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