Starbucks will eliminate plastic straws from all of its locations to replace with recyclable strapless lid or alternative-material straw options within two years to prevent environmental threats to oceans.
On Monday, the company became the largest food and beverage retailer to cut waste with a previous established $10 million commitment to develop a fully recyclable and compostable global cup solution, in partnership with Closed Loop Partners, through the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge.
Strawless lids have been designed, developed and manufactured by Starbucks, and are currently available in more than 8,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada. The lid will become the standard for all iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages. The coffee company will also offer straws made with alternative materials such as paper or compostable plastic.
Starbucks’ goal is to eliminate plastic straws from their stores by 2020. Straws that end up in the oceans leaves a devastating effect on species, according to Erin Simon, director of sustainability research and development and material science at World Wildlife Fund, US.
“Starbucks decision to phase out single-use plastic straws is a shining example of the important role that companies can play in stemming the tide of ocean plastic. With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we cannot afford to let industry sit on the sidelines and we are grateful for Starbucks leadership in this space,” said Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy Trash Free Seas program.
Seattle became the first major city to ban plastic straws and utensils last week. Some cities in California, Florida and New Jersey have also taken similar measures.
Other food chains, McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts, are joining the movement to cutdown on packaging waste.