Starbucks Straws: By 2020, No Plastic, 'Strawless Lids' Debut

A patron holds an iced beverage at a Starbucks coffee store in Pasadena

A proposal asking Starbucks to issue a report on its global plastic footprint was rejected at the company's annual shareholder meeting in March.

Seattle and Vancouver, Canada locations will be the first of Starbucks 28,000 stores worldwide to see the new strawless lids.

Adam Harris, a customer at the location Monday afternoon, said he agrees with the company's initiative to remove plastic straws from its stores.

Starbucks plans to offer a strawless lid or straws made of paper or compostable material instead of plastic.

One popular theory is that straws represent a kind of "gateway plastic" that can help corporations and consumers be more aware of their usage of nonbiodegradable products.

The coffee chain is the latest major player in the food industry to respond to the growing concern of single-use straws and their impact on the environment and marine life.

After this lid becomes standard for all cold drinks in Seattle and Vancouver, Starbucks will launch a global rollout of the strawless lid beginning in France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Your drink will come with a recyclable lid, with sort of a sipping spout, or you'll use biodegradable straws made from environmentally friendly materials.

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"Most people don't know this but plastic straws are not recyclable", said Bellefontaine.

In a statement, CEO Kevin Johnson called the move away from plastic straws a "significant milestone" in the company's sustainability efforts. Oakland and Berkeley, California, and other cities have also banned the use of disposable straws.

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

"Our world is so inundated by plastics, and straws are damaging wildlife", Murphy said. This will begin during fiscal year 2019, according to the Seattle-based company.

Local governments across the United States initially spearheaded the plastic-strawless movement. Seattle's ban on plastic straws and utensils went into effect last week. 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.

"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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