Starbucks, citing environment, is ditching plastic straws

09 Julio, 2018, 17:10 | Author: Arnold Perez
  • A Starbucks employee hands out coffee samples in Target in downtown Portland on Nov. 24 2017

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.

The company said in a release that paper or compostable straws will be available for customers upon request, and will be served with their Frappuccino blended drinks. Plastic straws never completely decompose and can be harmful, even fatal, to animals that ingest them.

Starbucks said Monday that it is making available a strawless lid at 8,000 stores in the US and Canada for certain drinks.

"This is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways", Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive of Starbucks, said in a statement.

McDonald's also recently said it would switch to paper straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland by next year, and test alternatives to plastic straws in some USA locations. The transition will be complete in 2019, the company said. Plastic straws have become one of the biggest targets.

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More news: Seattle becomes the latest city to ban plastic straws, utensils

In the United States, local governments are already putting similar restrictions into place.

Last week, Seattle's ban on single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service outlets took effect, and Starbucks says it already offers alternative straws there. Oakland and Berkeley, California, and other cities have also banned the use of disposable straws. Straws add about 1,800 tonnes of the more than eight million tonnes of plastic waste that is dumped into waters every year.

Starbucks - which has more than 28,000 stores and generated $22.4 billion in annual revenue past year - is the largest retailer to commit to eliminating single-use plastic straws. Phased rollouts within the USA and Canada will then follow.

Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy's Trash Free Seas program, called Starbucks' decision a "shining example" of how companies can help fight ocean pollution.

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