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The Schmooze

Starbucks Will Eliminate Plastic Straws By 2020

Your frappuccinos will never be the same.

Starting in 2020, Starbucks plans to wipe out all of the plastic straws from its 28,000 international stores in order to contribute to the universal effort to “go green”. Starbucks has already committed itself to the trendy cause, having pledged $10 million to help create recyclable cups for its hot drinks, but it is now moving further along in its efforts to aid the environment by choosing to ditch plastic straws.

Studies have shown that excessive usage of plastic is detrimental to the environment, as the material does not fully break down and, instead, releases toxins into nature and pollutes bodies of water. Rather than continuing to use the familiar forest green straws that jut out of our grandes, Starbucks plans to roll out an ‘adult sippy cup’ style with straw-less lids. These wide, raised lids recycle smoothly, unlike Starbucks’ current plastic straws. They will also have alternative-material, like paper and compostable plastic, straws as a secondary option that is also eco-friendly.

Image by Starbucks

Kevin Johnson, the president and chief executive officer for Starbucks, explained that the decision to eliminate non-recyclable plastic straws from the worldwide chain is monumental. “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.” This decision will eliminate over 1 billion plastic straws and will drastically change the style and consumption of the company’s cold drinks, which are responsible for more than half of Starbucks’ beverage sales. Starbucks will begin its transition into this change starting in the fall, with stores in Seattle, Vancouver, and Canada releasing the raised lid cups instead of using plastic straws.

Tamar Skydell is an intern at The Forward. You can contact her at [email protected]

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