Starbucks: No more plastic straws


Imperial Dade, a food service and janitorial supplies distributor based in New Jersey, said it has seen a huge spike in demand for alternative straws in recent months.

Starbucks announced they plan on eliminating plastic straws by 2020. Starbucks pledged to remove plastic straws from more than 28,000 stores by providing two types of straw alternatives: recyclable strawless lids and an alternative-material straw option for beverages like Frappuccinos.

Of course, Starbucks isn't alone in its quest to clean up its reputation by cleaning up the environment. McDonald's locations across England and Ireland will already be compliant should her proposal become law, as it says it will be replacing plastic straws with a paper alternative in their 1,300 of its stores by September.

Starting in Vancouver and their home city of Seattle, Starbucks stores will begin giving customers a new kind of strawless lid for iced espresso, coffee, and tea beverages.

"This move is an answer to our own partners about what we can do to reduce the need for straws", said Starbucks' Vice President of Global Social Impact, Colleen Chapman.

It's clear that Starbucks' initiative has been well-received for the most part, both by consumers and by environmental enthusiasts.

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Pressure has been building for businesses to shed single-use plastic straws due to the threat they pose to marine life and the health of the world's oceans.

Starbucks says customers will first notice the change in its Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia-based stores before "phased rollouts" across the rest of the US and Canada.

"With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we can not afford to let industry sit on the sidelines", he said in a statement.

Starbucks had already committed $10 million to help develop recyclable, compostable cups for hot drinks.

While straws have become a high-profile issue, they make up only about 4 percent of the plastic trash by number of pieces, and far less by weight.

In the United Kingdom, the change aligns with the retailer's "latte levy", which charges customers five pence for disposable cups in effort to encourage them to use reusable ones instead.