Starbucks is Largest Retailer Yet to Pledge a Phase-Out of Single-Use Plastic Straws

Starbucks has just announced that they will be phasing out single-use plastic straws from all 28,000 of their stores worldwide by 2020.

The initiative has made Starbucks the largest retailer yet to join the global movement against the wasteful plastic utensils. McDonald’s, which is the world’s second largest fast food chain, made headlines back in March for implementing a paper straw pilot program in their UK stores.

Starbucks, on the other hand, is estimated to give out over 1 billion straws every year, since roughly half of their yearly sales are made from iced drinks that are distributed with straws. 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.

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. Blended ice drinks will be distributed using biodegradable straw replacements.

The changes are expected to start being implemented in the fall.

“This is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways,” Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive of Starbucks, said in a statement, according to The Washington Post.
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