Major Coffee Chain Banning Plastic Straws

Hold on to your iced coffees, Brampton.

While plastic straws are a handy way to slurp smoothies, iced coffees and teas, milkshakes and more, it's true that they aren't the most eco-friendly tool.

Now, coffee giant Starbucks has announced that it will eliminate plastic straws globally by 2020.

That’s right, no more plastic straws will be available at Starbucks just two years from now.

Starbucks has more than 28,000 stores around the world. This move will eliminate more than one billion plastic straws per year from Starbucks stores, reads a recent statement from the Seattle-based chain.

The alternative?

Starbucks aims to make a strawless lid or alternative-material straw option available at all of its locations.

In fact, the coffee giant has already designed, developed and manufactured a strawless lid, which will become the standard for all iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages.

Photo courtesy of Starbucks

It’s already available in more than 8,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada for select beverages including Starbucks Draft Nitro and Cold Foam.

The lid is also being piloted for Nitro beverages in additional markets including China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam,” reads a recent statement from Starbucks.

In addition, Starbucks will begin offering straws made from alternative materials - including paper or compostable plastic - for Frappuccino blended beverages, and available by request for customers who prefer or need a straw.”

It’s true that Starbucks is taking major steps in becoming more sustainable. The company has already committed $10 million to developing and bringing to market a fully recyclable and compostable hot cup. Starbucks has already achieved 99 pr cent ethically-sourced coffee, and the company is piloting a paper cup charge in London, England.

As for the plastic straw ban, it’ll hit Seattle and Vancouver first starting in fall 2018.

The U.S. and Canada will follow in 2019.

Finally, Starbucks will implement a global rollout of the strawless lid starting in Europe.

"Starbucks goal to eliminate plastic straws by 2020 from their stores globally represents the company's forward thinking in tackling the material waste challenge in totality," said Erin Simon, director of sustainability research & development and material science at World Wildlife Fund, U.S.

"Plastic straws that end up in our oceans have a devastating effect on species,” said Simon.

As we partner with Starbucks in waste reduction initiatives such as Next Gen Consortium Cup Challenge and WWF's Cascading Materials Vision, we hope others will follow in their footsteps."

Several businesses across the GTA are already banning plastic straws and other one-use plastics.

In terms of major Canadian cities, Vancouver will be the first to completely ban plastic straws, according to the Globe and Mail.

At a federal level, a plastic straw and other one-use plastics ban is still on the table, in the wake of British Prime Minister Theresa May announcing that her government aims to ban plastic straws and other single-use items in an effort to eliminate most plastic waste by 2042.

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