The giant coffee company announced on Monday, July 9th, that they will eliminate all single-use plastic straws from their stores by 2020.
According to the company’s officials, this change will help Starbucks eliminate about 1 billion plastic straws used on a yearly basis.
Plastic straws, along with other plastic-material things, contribute to ocean pollution and they are threatening the marine life. As a result, various governments from all over the world have already begun banning them.
In 2020 you won’t be sipping your coffee at Starbucks using the already known green plastic straw. The company will replace them with recyclable strawless lids or straws made of alternative materials, such as compostable plastic or paper.
The plastic lids are already in use in various Starbucks stores for certain drinks that are topped with cold foam. The first cities that will undergo this change this fall will be Vancouver and Seattle.
In fact, Seattle was the first US city to ban plastic straws, as well as cocktail picks. In 2019, the UK and Ireland will follow, as the law banning plastic straws will go into effect in these parts of the world as well.
This move is described as a “significant milestone” in the sustainability efforts of the company, as Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks, said.
The company had already invested $10 million in research and in developing a better, recyclable cup for their hot drinks. A coffee cup is seen as a nightmare to the environment since it is made from materials such as cardboard and plastic. The latter one is attached to the cup in order to prevent it from becoming soggy and to maintain the drink warm. But the thing is this thin layer of plastic is quite difficult to recycle, as it takes about two decades for it to decompose.
Let’s hope that more companies will follow these steps in the near future.