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Starbucks is officially going strawless

10 July 2018
Starbucks is officially going strawless

Starbucks' newly designed strawless lid will be used for all iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages.

The coffee company announced Monday it will phase out plastic straws from all its stores by 2020. On July 1, Seattle became the first US city to ban plastic straws, spoons, forks and knives.

Plastic straws have proven hard to recycle, not because of the material they are made from but because they are too slim for recycling production lines to effectively sort through.

Fueling the movement is increased consumer environmentalism and concern about the many straws that end up polluting oceans and waterways. While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged Canada's support for the global declaration, he stopped short of committing to an outright ban on plastic straws in Canada.

Starbucks said it will make available strawless lids or straws made of other materials instead.

Founder of Sustainable Coastlines Camden Howitt says plastic straws are three-quarters of the plastic they find on New Zealand coastlines, with 60,000 stray straws picked up on our beaches over the last 10 years.

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

Some cities, including Seattle and Fort Meyers, banned plastic straws. Many communities are starting to look at the idea of banning single-use plastic items such as cups, straws, bags and utensils. The move will affect around 5,000 restaurants in requiring alternative straw options and more strawless lids.

"Our biggest challenge is trying to locate alternative sources so we can satisfy the demand", said Laura Craven, the company's director of marketing.

Other cities, including Fort Myers Beach, Fla., have banned plastic straws, and similar proposals are being considered in NY and San Francisco.

The coffee retailer will also begin offering straws made from alternative materials - including paper or compostable plastic - for Frappuccino beverages. A major catalyst in the global attitude toward straws was a horrifying video of a turtle with a straw jammed up its nose that made headlines several years ago.

"The damage to the environment is unimaginable", she said.