Starbucks Is Removing Plastic Straws From All Stores

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Starbucks plans to eliminate plastic straws globally by 2020.

Within the next two years Starbucks hopes to eliminate single-use plastic straws and instead plans to introduce the recyclable "strawless lids" and biodegradable substitute straws. The strawless lid for Starbucks's iced beverages is not unlike the standard hot coffee cup lid caffeine drinkers are already familiar with.

Starting this fall Starbucks customers in Seattle and Vancouver will be the first to receive the strawless lids, with phased rollouts in the USA and Canada coming in fiscal year 2019.

Plastic straws have proven hard to recycle, not because of the material they are made from but because they are too slim for recycling production lines to effectively sort through.

Starbucks is the latest brand to jump on board with the idea of becoming more environmentally friendly.

Americans supposedly use 500 million plastic straws every day-or not. Disabled people who rely on straws, meanwhile, have urged policymakers to consider their needs in the conversation.

The announcement from McDonald's followed an April proposal by the United Kingdom government to ban plastic straws in the country.

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The issue of waste more broadly is coming up in company boardrooms.

For some Starbucks drinkers, the companys new strawless lid may look familiar.

However, 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 US locations. Several European countries and cities in the United States are mulling restrictions on the use of plastic straws, although outright bans are still rare.

The no-plastic movement has been gaining momentum in recent months amid pressure from environmentalist calling for restaurants and food chain stores to ditch the plastic straws.

The straw-specific concern garnered widespread support after a 2015 viral video showed rescuers removing a plastic straw from an endangered sea turtle's nose. Oakland and Berkeley, California, and other cities have also banned the use of disposable straws.

"I think we need to have sophisticated nuanced conversations about what we as a society can do to benefit the environment and prevent further damage to the environment", says Ms Woodbury.

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