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Starbucks to eliminate plastic straws by 2020

By on July 9, 2018

SAN JUAN – Starbucks Coffee Co. announced Monday it will “eliminate single-use plastic straws” from its more than 28,000 company-operated and licensed stores by making a “strawless lid or alternative-material straw options available” around the world to replace the more than one billion plastic straws per year used.

The food and beverage giant has designed a lid that it said “will become the standard for all iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages,” and is already available in more than 8,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada for select beverages.

Starbucks will begin offering straws made from alternative materials such as paper or compostable plastic.

Seattle and Vancouver will be the first to see the strawless lids implemented this fall, with “phased rollouts within the U.S. and Canada to follow.” A “global rollout of the strawless lid will follow, beginning in Europe where strawless lids will arrive in select stores in France and the Netherlands, as well as in the UK just as the market expands its 5p paper cup charge to 950 stores.”

The company’s release quotes Erin Simon, director of sustainability research & development and material science at World Wildlife Fund, U.S., saying: “Plastic straws that end up in our oceans have a devastating effect on species. 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.”

Starbucks previously committed $10 million to develop a fully recyclable and compostable hot cup, in partnership with Closed Loop Partners, through the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge.

The company listed some of its other sustainability measures:

  • Achieving 99 percent ethically-sourced coffee
  • Trialing a 5p paper cup charge in London, which will be expanded to 950 stores in the UK later this month, to promote reusability
  • Offering a discount to any customer who brings a reusable cup or tumbler to company-owned stores around the world
  • Starbucks cups contain 10% post-consumer fiber, introduced in 2006 and a number the company expects to double by 2022
  • Building more than 1,500 LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified stores in 20 markets, including all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the largest green retailer in its sector.
  • Starbucks purchases Renewable Energy Certificates, currently covering 62% of our electricity usage globally, with a goal of reaching 100% globally by 2020
  • Expansion of the FoodShare program that donates unsold food to food banks around the country


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