Starbucks says it will stop using plastic straws by 2020

29 2018 a woman is seen in front of a Starbucks shortly before it closes early for anti-bias training in Washington DC. Starbucks was back in hot water

In a release, the company stated its stores in Seattle and Vancouver would see the departure of plastic straws first, beginning in the fall.

Starbucks said that it will begin using the strawless alternatives in Seattle and Vancouver stores by this fall, and expand to the US and Canada, followed by other global locations, in fiscal year 2019.

By the fall, all cold coffee beverages in Seattle and Vancouver will be served with the same strawless lid now offered for the cold brew drinks.

"By nature, the straw isn't recyclable and the lid is, so we feel this decision is more sustainable and more socially responsible", said Chris Milne, director of packaging sourcing for Starbucks.

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.

"For our partners and customers, this is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways", Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

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McDonald's also recently said it would switch to paper straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland by next year, and test alternatives to plastic straws in some USA locations.

Sixteen Tampa Bay businesses have received national Ocean Friendly certification through the coalition by voluntarily banning foam products and plastic bags, only providing straws and to-go utensils upon request, and enforcing recycling programs. Similar proposals are being considered in places like NY and San Francisco.

Starbucks, which doles out more than 1 billion straws a year, says it will phase out single-use plastic straws from its stores by 2020.

A number of restaurants and private establishments also have taken measures to curb their use of plastic straws.

Frappuccino drinks will still be served with dome lids, but with straws made from paper or compostable plastic. "I hope all of you will listen to her". In March, for example, the company announced a $10 million challenge to design a disposable coffee cup that is compostable.

Starbucks said the conversion will be complete by 2020.

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