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The last straw? Starbucks pledges to eliminate plastic straws globally by 2020

10 July 2018

Compostable paper or plastic straws will be available upon request, and with the chain's blended Frappuccinos.

Considered the most eco-friendly option because of how long they can last, these re-usable straws come in aluminum, stainless steel and titanium and are rustproof. Instead of the longtime drinking tool, the company will provide strawless lids, which will become the new standard for iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages.

In a release, the company stated its stores in Seattle and Vancouver would see the departure of plastic straws first, beginning in the fall. And it's a part of Starbucks' $10 million investment in creating recyclable and compostable cups around the world. The potential harm of ocean waste, particularly from plastic straws, drew widespread attention after a 2015 YouTube video of a sea turtle with a straw up its nostril went viral. Swedish furniture giant IKEA recently announced that it will stop selling single-use plastic products at all its stores globally by 2020. The company plans to roll this out to every store in the UK. Unlike straws, the new lid can be recycled, the company said.

While the lids are still made of plastic, the java corporation said they are made of recyclable materials. Straws are lower-hanging fruit in the battle against plastic, but hopefully it provides the motivation Starbucks needs to keep fighting in all the ways that count.

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In the United States, local governments are already putting similar restrictions into place. "Plastic straws that end up in our oceans have a devastating effect on species".

A number of restaurants and private establishments also have taken measures to curb their use of plastic straws. "As we partner with Starbucks in waste reduction initiatives such as Next Gen Consortium Cup Challenge and WWF's Cascading Materials Vision, we hope others will follow in their footsteps".

Starbucks said that it is the largest food and beverage retailer to have promised to get rid of plastic straws.

The last straw? Starbucks pledges to eliminate plastic straws globally by 2020