Starbucks to phase out plastic straws in all stores by 2020

Read Time:   |  10th July 2018

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In a move that the company estimates will eliminate 1 billion straws annually, coffee shop giant Starbucks has announced it will phase out plastic straws in 28,000 stores globally by 2020. 

starbucks ban plastic straws

Global coffee shop company, which has more than 28,000 outlets worldwide, has announced that it will be eliminating plastic straws from all stores worldwide by 2020 in a bid to be more environmentally friendly. The move means Starbucks are currently the largest food and beverage company in the world who have committed to phasing out the use of single-use plastic straws.

In fact, the company estimates that the move will eliminate 1 billion plastic straws annually. This is a significant move as some estimate that at the rate we are going, by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

Nicolas Mallos, director of the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas program, has stated that “With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we cannot afford to let industry sit on the sidelines, and we are grateful for Starbucks leadership in this space.”

The company said on Monday (9 July) that it will instead look to use straws made from other materials, and recyclable lids designed not to need straws. The new recyclable lid will be served as standard on all iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages.

The new lid is made from polypropylene plastic that can be widely recycled. “By nature, the straw isn’t recyclable and the lid is, so we feel this decision is more sustainable and more socially responsible,” said Starbucks’ director of packaging sourcing Chris Milne.

starbucks ban plastic straws

For those that still want (or need) to use a straw, Starbucks will provide alternatives including straws made from paper and compostable plastic. There will still be some plastic straws available, by special request, for those who truly need to use them, such as those with a disability.

Seattle and Vancouver Starbucks locations will be the first to see the straw-less lids fully implemented in stores, beginning in the fall. Following that, the brand will start, “phased rollouts within the U.S. and Canada,” per the brand’s press release. After that, a global rollout will commence in a number of locations in France, the Netherlands and the U.K.

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

Fast-food chain McDonald’s have also said that it will be switching to paper straws by 2019 in the UK and Ireland.

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