Starbucks citing environment is ditching plastic straws
09 July, 2018, 17:42
The coffee giant says it uses 1 billion plastic straws a year as its cold beverage sales grow, but will replace them with "strawless" lids and alternative materials.
Starbucks announced Monday that it will stop using plastic straws at all of its stores worldwide.
The company is the latest to announce a ban on the straws as global awareness of ocean pollution and harm to marine life increases. "Metal straws can be risky for people with neurological conditions such as Parkinson's whereas reusable plastic straws present hygiene concerns to people with specific health conditions".
Straws are a small contributor to the overall plastic problem, but they are an easy target since most people don't require a straw to consume a beverage.
Local governments have also been looking at the issue.
Frappuccino drinks will still be served with dome lids, but with straws made from paper or compostable plastic.
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The company's announcement comes a week after it's hometown, Seattle, banned single-use plastic straws and utensils at businesses that sell food or drinks in the city.
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".
Starbuckshadalready committed $10 million to help develop recyclable, compostable cups for hot drinks.
Starbucks will start the transition away from plastic straws in Seattle and in Vancouver in the fall, before launching a phased rollout in the U.S.in its fiscal 2019.
A number of restaurants and private establishments also have taken measures to curb their use of plastic straws. Several other US cities have already implemented similar bans, or have proposed legislation in the works. Straws add up to only about 2,000 tons of the almost 9m tons of plastic waste that hits waters each year.
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Businesses that sell food or drinks won't be allowed to offer the plastic items under a rule that went into effect Sunday . California's Legislature is considering statewide restrictions, but not an outright ban, on single-use plastic straws.
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