Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Starbucks replacing plastic straws with new drinking lid

Plastics and other debris line an estuary in Kentucky Plastics and other debris line an estuary in Kentucky
Frank Williams | 09 July, 2018, 20:12

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 has designed, developed, and manufactured a strawless lid that will become the standard for all iced coffee, tea, and espresso beverages served in their locations around the world.

Starting with its Seattle and Vancouver locations, Starbucks announced Tuesday it will eliminate single-use plastic straws from all of its stores, giving customers a choice between a strawless lid or an alternative-material straw as an option instead.

Straws made with alternative materials like paper and compostable plastic will be provided with Frappuccinos, as well as upon request by customers.

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"By nature, the straw isn't recyclable and the lid is, so we feel this decision is more sustainable and more socially responsible", said Chris Milne, director of packaging sourcing for Starbucks. Plastic straws have become a flashpoint. And it's a part of Starbucks' $10 million investment in creating recyclable and compostable cups around the world. Unlike straws, the new lid can be recycled, the company said. The new lids are already being used in more than 8,000 stores in North America for beverages such as draft nitro.

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Starbucks says that customers in Seattle and Vancouver will be the first to go strawless beginning this fall, with more markets to follow.

An online petition calling on Starbucks to say goodbye to plastic straws has close to 150,000 signatures.

Starbucks, citing the environment threat to oceans, will ban plastic straws from all of its stores globally in less than two years.

Other companies have also been ditching plastic straws in recent months. Similar proposals are being considered elsewhere, including NY and San Francisco.

McDonald's United Kingdom recently announced plans to start phasing out plastic straws and replacing them with paper straws, while Alaska Airlines also announced plans to ban plastic straws and stir sticks aboard their aircrafts.

"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.

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