Starbucks, citing ocean threat, is ditching plastic straws from all locations

Ivan Schwartz
July 9, 2018

Starbucks will eliminate plastic straws from all of its locations within two years, citing the environmental threat to oceans.

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. These now come with drinks like the Starbucks Draft Nitro and Cold Foam, and will come with the Salted Cream Cold Foam Cold Brew to be released on Tuesday.

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".

Ice-blended Frappuccinos, meanwhile, will be served with straws made of paper or compostable plastic.

In a statement, CEO Kevin Johnson called the move away from plastic straws a "significant milestone" in the company's sustainability efforts.

The company is the latest to announce a ban on the straws as global awareness of ocean pollution and harm to marine life increases.

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Starbucks said that it will begin using the strawless alternatives in Seattle and Vancouver stores by this fall, and expand to the USA and Canada, followed by other global locations, in fiscal year 2019.

McDonald's shareholders voted down a proposal requesting a report on plastic straws in May.

The UK government said that 1 million birds and more than 100,000 sea mammals die each year from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste. "We hope others will follow in [Starbucks'] footsteps".

Starbucks is to ban plastic straws from all of of its stores by 2020, amounting to the elimination of more than one billion plastic straws each year.

"With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we can not afford to let industry sit on the sidelines", he said in a statement.

Other reports by GizPress

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