Starbucks to Go Strawless Worldwide by 2020

Rodiano Bonacci
Luglio 11, 2018

Starbucks is going strawless.

Starbucks will launch two new cold offerings in the USA and Canada on Tuesday that use the lids, including a salted cream cold foam cold brew, Starbucks spokeswoman Haley Drage said in an email. The Seattle-based carrier, which said it handed out 22 million stir straws and citrus picks a year ago, also said it would have non-plastic, marine-friendly drinking straws for travelers that request them. Straws add up to about 2,000 tons of the almost 9 million tons of plastic waste that ends up in the water each year.

Environmental activists have been pressuring businesses to ditch plastic straws because they can end up in the ocean and hurt marine life.

Seattle and Vancouver, BC will be the first cities to sip on their iced drinks without straws, with other locations launching the new lids through 2020.

To eliminate straws, Starbucks is transitioning from the flat, plastic lids that require them, to ones that feature a raised lip you can drink from.

Straws have been a focal point for plastic waste activists, and for good reason: 500 million plastic straws are used every day in the US alone.

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".

The company is already working on a $10 million program to design a fully recyclable and compostable cup.

"Straws are kind of an unnecessary item we've gotten accustomed to", Woodring said earlier this year.

"There's so many single-use plastics that could be targeted before straws which disabled people use to drink independently and with dignity". That's when Seattle's ban on restaurants providing plastic straws went into effect, part of an effort to protect ocean wildlife. Oakland and Berkeley, California, and other cities have also banned the use of disposable straws.

Nicholas Mallos, of the Ocean Conservancy, said the ban was "a shining example of the important role that companies can play in stemming the tide of ocean plastic".

A number of local governments have pushed to limit the use of plastic straws by passing restrictive legislation. Phased rollouts within the USA and Canada will then follow. But I do hope the move does not make Starbucks (or its customers) complacent in the battle against all plastic pollution, particularly that which is caused by their single-use disposable coffee cups.

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