Starbucks is eliminating plastic straws from all stores

The changes will help Starbucks (SBUX) eliminate more than 1 billion plastic straws per year, the company said.

Starbucks said that it is the largest food and beverage retailer to have promised to get rid of plastic straws.

The strawless lid has already been in use at numerous company's stores for certain kinds of cold drinks like cold foam and "draft nitro", the coffee drink that comes out of a keg, mixed with nitrogen.

As BBC News reported in February, a Scotland-based disability group called One in Five says paper, plant-based, and metal straws aren't adequate substitutes for single-use plastic straws and could even be unsafe for people, depending on their disability.

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

Starbucks says that customers in Seattle and Vancouver will be the first to go strawless beginning this fall, with more markets to follow. "Metal straws can be risky for people with neurological conditions such as Parkinson's whereas reusable plastic straws present hygiene concerns to people with specific health conditions".

Thai soccer team members rescued from cave
The pause will give divers time to prepare gear, including masks and refilling air tanks, for the next round of rescue efforts. Parents say they haven't been told which boys were taken out of the cave, and have not been allowed to visit them in hospital.

Local governments have also been looking at the issue.

Straws made with alternative materials like paper and compostable plastic will be provided with Frappuccinos, as well as upon request by customers. Walt Disney World has banned plastic straws at some of its theme parks, while the Smithsonian Institution has taken steps to eliminate them from its museums.

While straws have become a high-profile issue, they make up only about 4% of the plastic trash by number of pieces, and far less by weight.

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

"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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