Starbucks Announces Plans to Ban Single-Use Plastic Straws by 2020

Starbucks' plan to phase out plastic straws will begin in Vancouver and Seattle

Starbucks said cold beverages in which a straw is typically included make up 50% of the drinks its sells, up from just 37% five years ago.

By the fall, all cold coffee beverages in Seattle and Vancouver will be served with the same strawless lid now offered for the cold brew drinks.

Starbucks announced plans to eliminate more than 1 billion plastic straws per year from its stores worldwide by 2020.

The move echoes a trend of companies and cities attempting to move away from single-use plastic straws, which can be detrimental to the environment and take an estimated 450 years to decompose.

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Pressure has been building for businesses to shed single-use plastic straws due to the threat they pose to marine life and the health of the world's oceans. Ice-blended Frappuccinos, meanwhile, will be served with straws made of paper or compostable plastic.

"The lid is now available in more than 8,000 stores in the United States and Canada for select beverages including Starbucks Draft Nitro and Cold Foam".

Starbucks said the conversion will be complete by 2020.

To eliminate straws, Starbucks is transitioning from the flat, plastic lids that require them, to ones that feature a raised lip you can drink from.

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Other communities across the country, including Sanibel Island, located in Florida, are also on the list of places considering a ban on these plastic products. In May, the European Union also suggested a ban on some plastic items, including straws. On July 1, Seattle became the first USA city to ban plastic straws, spoons, forks and knives.

Other cities, like Fort Meyers, have banned plastic straws.

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.

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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