Starbucks phasing out plastic straws by 2020

Starbucks (sbux) will replace plastic straws with recyclable strawless lids, which it will serve with all of its iced coffee, tea, and espresso drinks.

The company said it is the largest food and beverage retailer to make such a commitment-a decision that will eliminate more than 1 billion plastic straws per year from its stores. Straws, though, will still be available - made from paper or compostable plastic.

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Starbucks joins companies, cities, and countries around the world that have banned plastic straws.

Engineers successfully developed a "cleaner, less-ridged version of a hot cup lid", and decided to make it the standard for all iced drinks except the Frappuccino, totally phasing out straws by the year 2020.

"For our partners and customers, this is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways", Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

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Starbuckshadalready committed $10 million to help develop recyclable, compostable cups for hot drinks. In February, Dunkin' Donuts said that it would eliminate polystyrene foam cups from its stores by 2020.

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

As for the "strawless lids", Starbucks is already using them in about 8,000 select stores around North America.

A number of local governments have recently passed legislation restricting the use and distribution of plastic straws.

Starting this fall Starbucks customers in Seattle and Vancouver will be the first to receive the strawless lids, with phased rollouts in the US and Canada coming in fiscal year 2019.

"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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