A week after its hometown of Seattle banned plastic drinking straws and utensils, Starbucks will stop using disposable plastic straws by 2020, eliminating more than one billion straws a year, the retailer announced on Monday.
Plastic drinking straws make up only about 4% of plastic trash by the number of pieces, and far less by weight. Straws add up to about 2,000 tons of the nearly 9 million tons of plastic waste that ends up in waters worldwide each year.
Frappuccino drinks will still be served with dome lids, but with straws made from paper or compostable plastic. Coffee drinkers who prefer straws for other beverages can request the new eco-friendly versions
The Nitro Cold Brew’s biggest selling point would be its creamy, frothy top, but cold brews are typically drunk through straws, meaning they’re consumed from the bottom up. The solution was a strawless lid that Starbucks tested at its Seattle locations.
With Starbucks announcing their intentions, expect many other fortunes 500 companies to follow suit with these actions soon enough.