Today Starbucks announced that it plans to eliminate plastic straws from over 28,000 Starbucks locations across the globe by 2020.
The brand said that this move will result in a billion fewer straws in Starbucks stores per year. More importantly, it will result in fewer plastic straws littering our oceans. Although straws play a small role in the oceans’ plastic crisis, this is a great example of corporate environmental responsibility in action.
With more attention than ever before on the plastic crisis affecting marine life, this is a symbolic move that tells the world that corporations should do everything in their power to adopt sustainable corporate practices.
Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas program, said: “Starbucks decision to phase out single-use plastic straws is a shining example of the important role that companies can play in stemming the tide of ocean plastic. With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we cannot afford to let industry sit on the sidelines, and we are grateful for Starbucks leadership in this space.”
Plastic straws will be replaced with new recyclable strawless lids and other alternative-material straw options. Of course, straws will still be available for those who need to use them (like people with a disability).
In Canada and the U.S.A. 8,000 locations have already introduced the strawless lids (see above photo). In the Fall, Vancouver and Seattle locations will be the first to go completely “strawless.”
Photo 2 Credit: Starbucks