Starbucks to eliminate plastic straws in all stores by 2020

Starbucks to eliminate plastic straws in all stores by 2020
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Starbucks announced Monday that it will stop using plastic straws at all of its stores worldwide.

The global coffee giant said it plans to eliminate all single-use plastic straws by 2020, and will instead cap cold drinks with lids that do not require the use of a straw.

The company said in a release that paper or compostable straws will be available for customers upon request, and will be served with their Frappuccino blended drinks.

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

Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and CEO, called the move a “significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways.”

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The company previously announced a $10 million effort to develop and introduce a “fully recyclable and compostable hot cup,” according to the news release.

Starbucks said that it will begin using the strawless alternatives in Seattle and Vancouver stores by this fall, and expand to the U.S. and Canada, followed by other global locations, in fiscal year 2019.

The company is the latest to announce a ban on the straws as global awareness of ocean pollution and harm to marine life increases. McDonald’s said earlier this year that it would stop using plastic straws at all of its stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May also announced a nationwide ban on the products as part of an effort to eliminate plastic waste by 2042.

In the U.S., Seattle became the first major city to ban plastic straws and utensils, following several other smaller cities and businesses nationwide.