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Starbucks: Goodbye plastic straws

Starbucks: Goodbye plastic straws

The coffee retailer will also begin offering straws made from alternative materials - including paper or compostable plastic - for Frappuccino beverages.

In the US, Seattle - hometown of Starbucks - is the only major city to have so far banned the use of plastic straws in its eateries. It's a plastic strawless lid that will come to replace single-use plastic straws that now inundate its coffee shops.

Plastic straws have proven hard to recycle, not because of the material they are made from but because they are too slim for recycling production lines to effectively sort through.

Ditching plastic straws is a positive move for the company, but it is clear they still have a ways to go on removing plastic cups and lids from their repertoire.

On July 9, Starbucks announced its plans to phase out the use of plastic straws in its stores by 2020.

"There are several of these single-use items the public is realising, hey, "we don't actually need these", said Denise Hardesty, a scientist with Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation who studies plastic pollution.

To make its green dreams a reality, the brand will offer paper or compostable straws for blended drinks like Frappuccinos, and everything else will be served with a strawless lid (think adult sippy cup).

Meanwhile, Bon Appétit Management is banning plastic straws and stirrers at more than 1,000 cafes and restaurants the food-service management company runs. "With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we can not afford to let industry sit on the sidelines, and we are grateful for Starbucks' leadership in this space".

Plastic straws are being banned in some countries, because they end up in the oceans.

Seattle and Vancouver, BC will be the first cities to sip on their iced drinks without straws, with other locations launching the new lids through 2020. "As we partner with Starbucks in waste reduction initiatives such as Next Gen Consortium Cup Challenge and WWF's Cascading Materials Vision, we hope others will follow in their footsteps".


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