Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Starbucks, citing ocean threat, is ditching plastic straws

Starbucks, citing ocean threat, is ditching plastic straws

Starbucks predicts that it will eliminate more than 1 billion straws yearly.

Starbucks will eliminate plastic straws from its stores globally by 2020, in a nod to the growing push for businesses to be more environmentally friendly. Starbucks announced it plans on removing plastic straws from its 28,000 stores by 2020.

Starbucks (sbux) will replace plastic straws with recyclable strawless lids, which it will serve with all of its iced coffee, tea, and espresso drinks.

Starbucks said it will make available strawless lids or straws made of other materials instead. Unlike straws, the new lid can be recycled, the company said.

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

This follows an announcement by McDonald's that 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.

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Local governments have also been looking at the issue.

The company's announcement comes a week after it's hometown, Seattle, banned single-use plastic straws and utensils at businesses that sell food or drinks in the city.

Still, those who support limiting plastic straws say they are generally unnecessary and a ban is good symbol. Phased rollouts within the United States and Canada will then follow.

Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy's Trash Free Seas program, called Starbucks' decision a "shining example" of how companies can help fight ocean pollution.

"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.

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