Starbucks To Forgo Plastic Straws By 2020 Over Ocean Threat

WASHINGTON - JULY 2: Starbucks' new iced coffee and tea beverages are displayed during a promotion July 2, 2003 outside a Starbucks coffee shop at Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. Starbucks introduced a new line of ... WASHINGTON - JULY 2: Starbucks' new iced coffee and tea beverages are displayed during a promotion July 2, 2003 outside a Starbucks coffee shop at Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. Starbucks introduced a new line of iced tea, coffee and tea lemonade drinks to their customers to cool down in the summer. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
|
July 9, 2018 9:51 a.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks will eliminate plastic straws from all of its locations within two years, citing the environmental threat to oceans.

The company becomes the largest food and beverage company to do so as calls to cut waste globally grow louder. Plastic straws have become a flashpoint.

A week after its hometown banned plastic drinking straws and utensils, the Seattle company said Monday that by 2020, it will be using straws made from biodegradable materials like paper and specially designed lids. The company already offers alternative straws in Seattle.

Newsletters
Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Other cities, like Fort Meyers, have banned plastic straws. Similar proposals are being considered in places like New York and San Francisco.

The waste issue is coming up in company boardrooms, though Starbucks is taking the lead among global companies on straws.

In February, Dunkin’ Donuts said that it would eliminate polystyrene foam cups from its stores by 2020.

McDonald’s shareholders voted down a proposal requesting a report on plastic straws in May.

McDonald’s recently said it would switch to paper straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland by next year, and test alternatives to plastic straws in some U.S. locations. The burger chain said this year that it would use only recycled or other environmentally friendly materials for its soda cups, Happy Meal boxes and other packaging by 2025.

While plastic drinking straws have become one of the more high-profile issues environmentally, they make up only about 4 percent of the plastic trash by number of pieces, and far less by weight. Straws add up to about 2,000 tons of the nearly 9 million tons of plastic waste that ends up in waters around the globe each year.

The strawless lids will begin to appear in Seattle and Vancouver Starbucks this fall, with phased rollouts within the U.S. and Canada to follow next year. A global rollout of the strawless lids will follow, beginning in Europe where the will be used in select stores in France and the Netherlands, as well as in the United Kingdom.

Latest News
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Audience Development Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: