Starbucks, citing ocean threat, is ditching plastic straws

Starbucks, citing ocean threat, is ditching plastic straws

Starbucks - which has more than 28,000 stores and generated $22.4 billion in annual revenue previous year - is the largest retailer to commit to eliminating single-use plastic straws.

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. Straws, though, will still be available - made from paper or compostable plastic.

"Starbucks decision to phase out single-use plastic straws is a shining example of the important role that companies can play in stemming the tide of ocean plastic", Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy's Trash Free Seas program said.

Starbucks will begin rolling out the new lids this fall, starting with locations in Seattle and Vancouver.

And therefore, in one of the company's first moves towards this goal, they have introduced a new cup for their cold brews.

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Instead, Starbucks cups will have a strawless lid or an alternative-material straw option available.

Americans supposedly use 500 million plastic straws every day-or not. The company has already designed and developed a strawless lid that it expects to become a standard for its iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages.

Wes Knopp, the owner of Lone Light Coffee, said, "I think a majority of people would not get a plastic straw if they weren't provided with one automatically". "Metal straws can be unsafe for people with neurological conditions such as Parkinson's whereas reusable plastic straws present hygiene concerns to people with specific health conditions". And it's a part of Starbucks' $10 million investment in creating recyclable and compostable cups around the world.

Starbucks said the conversion will be complete by 2020. Last week, Seattle became the latest city to ban plastic utensils and straws.

Starting Tuesday July 10, Starbucks will also add two new permanent additions to its cold coffee menu in the US and Canada: Salted Cream Cold Foam Cold Brew, featuring a strawless lid; and Iced Vanilla Bean Coconutmilk Latte, which consists of vanilla bean and coconutmilk shaken with ice, with shots of Starbucks signature espresso poured on top.

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