Starbucks to eliminate plastic straws in stores globally by 2020

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Customers in Seattle and Vancouver, Canada, will be the first to see the new lids beginning this fall, with phased rollouts within the United States and Canada in 2019.

Starbucks Coffee Co. plans to phase out single-use plastic straws from its more than 28,000 company-operated and licensed stores by 2020 in an effort to reduce its global waste footprint.

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

As for the "strawless lids", Starbucks is already using them in about 8,000 select stores around North America.

Other cities, like Fort Meyers, have banned plastic straws as well.

The company also announced plans to add two new cold beverages to the permanent menu, making good on a shareholder promise to increase the variety of its cold drinks, which represent 50 percent of beverage sales.

"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 of Starbucks, said in a statement.

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McDonald's recently said it would switch to paper straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland by next year, and test alternatives to plastic straws in some USA locations. Plastic straws have become a flashpoint.

Starbucks uses more than a billion plastic straws a year.

Alternative-material straws such as paper or compostable plastic will be rolled-out for Frappuccino beverages, and they will also be available for customers upon request if they would prefer a straw.

Starbucks said it hopes other major retailers will make the same move away from plastic. "The siren is calling".

An online petition calling on Starbucks to say goodbye to plastic straws has close to 150,000 signatures. And it's a part of Starbucks' $10 million investment in creating recyclable and compostable cups around the world.

Starting Tuesday July 10, Starbucks will also add two new permanent additions to its cold coffee menu in the USA and Canada: Salted Cream Cold Foam Cold Brew, featuring a strawless lid; and Iced Vanilla Bean Coconutmilk Latte, which consists of vanilla bean and coconutmilk shaken with ice, with shots of Starbucks signature espresso poured on top.

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