Starbucks, citing environment, is ditching plastic straws

Starbucks unveils environment-friendly lid for cold drinks which puts straws on shelf

Starbucks is going strawless.

Instead of straws, Starbucks will be implementing a "strawless" lid for all iced beverages.

The global coffee company has announced that this move will come with a reduction of one billion plastic straws from their stores throughout the world.

The store will automatically offer cold drinks with the new sipping lid, but for "frappuccinos", a coffee mixed with ice, the store will offer paper straws or ones made of a compostable plastic based on fermented plant starch.

Today's announcement of the plastic straw ban is part of the company's $10 million campaign to be more environmentally responsible with their packaging.

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Starbucks is also adding two new cold drinks to the permanent menu on Tuesday: the Salted Cream Cold Foam Cold Brew - which features a strawless lid - and the Ice Vanilla Bean Coconutmilk Latte. They'll also have alternative material straw options.

"Basically (for) the small drink straws, there's not an easy way to recycle them", she said.

Actor an environmental advocate Adrian Grenier says he delivered a statement to Starbucks shareholders in March pleading for the company to adopt more environmentally-friendly policies.

To replace the straws, Starbucks also debuted images of its new strawless lids, which will begin to appear in Seattle and Vancouver locations this fall, with phased rollouts within the USA and Canada to follow next year.

"This move is an answer to our own partners about what we can do to reduce the need for straws", said Colleen Chapman, vice president of Starbucks global social impact overseeing sustainability. As Fast Company reported, plastic straws have been banned or are planned to be banned by Alaska Airlines and McDonald's U.K., as well as in Vancouver, the U.K., Taiwan, Seattle, Miami Beach, and in California cities such as Oakland and Berkeley, to name a few.

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"Our biggest challenge is trying to locate alternative sources so we can satisfy the demand", said Laura Craven, the company's director of marketing. Recently, McDonald's said it plans to switch to paper straws at its restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Starbucks' headquarters are in Seattle, where a ban on plastic straws just kicked in. It said compostable take-out containers will replace upwards of 5 million plastic ones used each year. "Not using a straw is the best thing we can do for the environment".

Starbucks said that it is the largest food and beverage retailer to have promised to get rid of plastic straws.

Starbucks has dealt a serious blow in the battle against plastic pollution.

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