Starbucks to phase out plastic straws by 2020

By Pouyan Broukhim

Starbucks Coffee Company has become the latest major food and beverage firm to commit to a reduced usage of plastics, pledging that it will completely eliminate its use of plastic straws across its 28,000 stores globally by 2020.

Instead, the company will begin to use strawless lids and alternative materials, such as paper or compostable plastics, in the anticipation that this will eliminate one billion plastic straws annually from the global ecosystem.

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“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,” said Kevin Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer for Starbucks.

The news follows similar announcements from the likes of McDonalds, Deliveroo, JustEat, and JD Wetherspoon in recent months.

Starbucks customers in Seattle and Vancouver will be the first to see these changes implemented, with the firm’s announcement coming just days after Seattle’s ban of one-time-use plastics, including straws and utensils, at “all food service businesses” across the city.

Further, the company has previously invested $10mn into developing a fully recyclable and compostable hot cup in partnership with Closed Loop Partners, and will be expanding its five pence paper cup charge to 950 stores across the UK later this month to promote reusability.

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