Plastic straws are being banned in some countries, because they end up in the oceans.
Starting in Vancouver and their home city of Seattle, Starbucks stores will begin giving customers a new kind of strawless lid for iced espresso, coffee, and tea beverages.
Starting this fall Starbucks customers in Seattle and Vancouver will be the first to receive the strawless lids, with phased rollouts in the USA and Canada coming in fiscal year 2019. Ice-blended Frappuccinos, meanwhile, will be served with straws made of paper or compostable plastic.
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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. In time, the cold-cup lids were rolled out into more than 8,000 stores across Canada and the USA and used for a handful of drinks, including Draft Nitro and Cold Foam drinks. 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. "Metal straws can be risky for people with neurological conditions such as Parkinson's whereas reusable plastic straws present hygiene concerns to people with specific health conditions".
The US company claim the move will mean one billion fewer straws are handed out.
Nicholas Mallos, of the Ocean Conservancy, said the ban was "a shining example of the important role that companies can play in stemming the tide of ocean plastic".
Starbucks will start phased rollouts of its strawless lids in the USA and Canada in 2019 before moving onto Europe, where the new lids will debut in France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.