Starbucks has been in the headlines a lot recently, and now they are making an environmental stand. The popular coffee chain has pledged to eliminate the use of plastic straws throughout all of their restaurants. The plastic straws ban will go into effect in 2020.
Plastic straws make a big contribution to ocean pollution and are a severe threat to marine life. Starbucks ends up contributing about 1 billion plastic straws to the ocean each year. In place of plastic straws, Starbucks will introduce new lids which have a slightly raised lip that can be drunk out of, instead of the standard flat lid that is offered now.
Starbucks will still provide straws for frappuccino drinks with dome lids, but these straws will be made of paper or compostable plastic items. Any coffee drinkers who prefer a straw with their drink instead of a lid can request the new types of straws when they order their drink at the counter.
Starbucks already offers these lids for some of their more frothy menu items. Although the ban on straws won’t be in effect completely until 2020, the coffee chain will begin eliminating the use of straws at its stores beginning in the fall of 2018.
Starbucks is also the first major food chain in the United States to ban the use of plastic straws, although some businesses have already implemented the ban locally, such as the plastic utensils ban in Seattle. Many state and local governments around the country have released similar measures to help combat pollution.
The company has also committed $10 million dollars to developing compostable cups and materials that are more recyclable in the future. Outside of the United States, McDonald’s is implementing a plastic straw ban in the United Kingdom after a resolution was passed on the issue. The European Union has been talking about a ban on plastic items as well.