Starbucks plans to phase out plastic straws by 2020, making it one of the largest retailers to commit to the no-straw movement. Your drink will come with a recyclable lid, with sort of a sipping spout, or you'll use biodegradable straws made from environmentally friendly materials.
The coffee chain giant with more than 28, 000 stores hands out at least a billion straws a year, but on Monday the company said “no more,” The Washington Post reported.
Within the next two years Starbucks hopes to eliminate single-use plastic straws and instead plans to introduce the recyclable “strawless lids” and biodegradable substitute straws.
Stores in Seattle and Vancouver will be first to begin using these new items and other locations will start to adopt them as part of Starbucks’ $10 million plan to introduce fully recyclable cups and lids.
“This is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways,” said Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive of Starbucks, according to The Washington Post.
The announcement comes as other chains commit to similar initiatives.
McDonald's is introducing paper straws to all its restaurants in the U.K., and the concept is expected to move to the U.S.
Meanwhile, Bon Appétit Management is banning plastic straws and stirrers at more than 1,000 cafes and restaurants the food-service management company runs.
The no-plastic movement has been gaining momentum in recent months amid pressure from environmentalist calling for restaurants and food chain stores to ditch the plastic straws.
According to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the U.S. alone.
Plastic is not biodegradable. It just keeps breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces and ends up piling up in the environment, threatening human health as well as animal wildlife and poisoning the food chain.
A number of local governments have pushed to limit the use of plastic straws by passing restrictive legislation.
Last week Seattle's plastic straw ban went into effect for the city's 5,000 restaurants, making the Emerald City the first major U.S. city to ban the single-use straws in food service.
Restaurants could be fined $250 for providing plastic straw and customers at Seattle restaurants must request straws, in which case they will be given compostable straws.
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