Starbucks Will Eliminate Plastic Straws Globally by 2020

Starbucks unveils environment-friendly lid for cold drinks which puts straws on shelf

Starbucks announced a new lid design on Monday that makes straws obsolete

The company will broaden the manufacture and use of what some in social media have dubbed the "adult sippy cup".

The strawless lids will begin to appear in Seattle and Vancouver Starbucks this fall, with phased rollouts within the USA and Canada to follow next year.

The coffee giant says it uses 1 billion plastic straws a year as its cold beverage sales grow, but will replace them with "strawless" lids and alternative materials. And it's a part of Starbucks' $10 million investment in creating recyclable and compostable cups around the world. Unlike straws, the new lid can be recycled, the company said.

In a statement, CEO Kevin Johnson called the move away from plastic straws a "significant milestone" in the company's sustainability efforts.

McDonald's shareholders voted down a proposal requesting a report on plastic straws in May. McDonald's said earlier this year that it would stop using plastic straws at all of its stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In May, the European Union also suggested a ban on some plastic items, including straws.

In the United States, local governments are already putting similar restrictions into place.

Starbucks will eliminate plastic straws from all of its locations within two years, citing the environmental threat to oceans.

Still, those who support limiting plastic straws say they are generally unnecessary and a ban is good symbol.

Starbucks said that it is the largest food and beverage retailer to have promised to get rid of plastic straws. Phased rollouts within the U.S. and Canada will then follow. Straws add up to about 2,000 tons of the almost 9 million tons of plastic waste that ends up in waters around the globe each year.

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