Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

Starbucks is removing plastic straws from all stores

Starbucks is removing plastic straws from all stores

By the fall, all cold coffee beverages in Seattle and Vancouver will be served with the same strawless lid now offered for the cold brew drinks. Through this decision, the company expects to eliminate more than one billion plastic straws annually from Starbucks stores.

Some Starbucks drinks, like cold brew with cold foam, are already served in cups with strawless lids.

Starbucks will start phased rollouts of its strawless lids in the USA and Canada in 2019 before moving onto Europe, where the new lids will debut in France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Strawless lids will replace the sipping utensils for its iced beverages while paper and compostable plastic straws will stand-in for plastic for the company's Frappuccino drinks, or be given to customers upon request.

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Starbucks will start the transition away from plastic straws in Seattle and in Vancouver in the fall, before launching a phased rollout in the its fiscal 2019.

The new lid, which has already begun circulating in over 8,000 stores in the US, will be provided with all iced drinks except for Frappucinos.

The company said at least 180 million 21-centimeter-long plastic straws are used at its stores in Korea annually.

In May, Alaska Airlines said travelers on its flights would be served drinks with compostable versions of stir straws and citrus picks: white birch for coffee and bamboo for citrus sticks. "I'm not a big straw user, so it really doesn't impact me, but anywhere we can eliminate waste is good".

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Starbucks announced Monday that it will be getting rid of its plastic straws in an effort to protect the environment from plastic waste.

The chain has also invested in the NextGen Cup challenge, a project which aims to develop fully recyclable containers for hot beverages.

Already, other major companies are moving towards strawless. Kimberly Murphy, president of Berks Nature, a nonprofit conservation organization based in Reading, said 500 million straws are used every day in the USA, and they are often not recycled. Its straws will be replaced by sippy cup-like lids that are also plastic, but more recyclable.

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 business also urges customers to bring their own tumbler from home to reduce waste.

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