The coffee giant said Monday that it will replace the ubiquitous plastic straw with recyclable "strawless lids", as well as straws made from biodegradable materials, as part of a no-plastic-straws movement that has gained momentum in recent years.
That's right all plastic straws will be completely eliminated from Starbucks stores very soon, the company wants to get rid of them all by the year 2020.
Starbucks will start the transition away from plastic straws in Seattle and in Vancouver in the fall, before launching a phased rollout in the U.S.in its fiscal 2019.
Starbucks says that it has "designed, developed and manufactured a strawless lid, which will become the standard for all iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages".
The company also announced plans to add two new cold beverages to the permanent menu, making good on a shareholder promise to increase the variety of its cold drinks, which represent 50 percent of beverage sales.
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Last week, Seattle's ban on single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service outlets took effect, and Starbucks says it already offers alternative straws there. Malibu, Calif., Miami Beach, Fla., and Monmouth Beach, N.J., also prohibit single-use sippers. Similar proposals are being considered elsewhere, including NY and San Francisco.
"Not using a straw is the best thing we can do for the environment". Among the big names advocating for straw bans are actor Adrian Grenier, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, and actor Kendrick Sampson. "I hope all of you will listen to her".
Starbuckshadalready committed $10 million to help develop recyclable, compostable cups for hot drinks.
"With 8 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", Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancys Trash Free Seas program, said in the release.
Starting Tuesday July 10, Starbucks will also add two new permanent additions to its cold coffee menu in the US and Canada: Salted Cream Cold Foam Cold Brew, featuring a strawless lid; and Iced Vanilla Bean Coconutmilk Latte, which consists of vanilla bean and coconutmilk shaken with ice, with shots of Starbucks signature espresso poured on top.