Starbucks plans to ditch single-use plastic straws by 2020

USA – The American coffee company, Starbucks Corp has said it will eliminate single-use plastic straws from its coffeehouses globally by 2020 and in return offer recyclable strawless lids and alternative-material straws, like paper or compostable plastic.

The coffee chain which operates more than 28,000 coffeehouses is seeking to remove about 1 billion plastic straws from its locations per year.

Starbucks was among few companies who received a proposal asking them to give a report on its global plastic footprint but this was rejected at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in March, according to Bloomberg.

While cold beverages, generally consumed with a straw make up more than half of Starbucks’ beverage sales, the company said it’s the largest food and beverage retailer to make a commitment to end plastic-straw use.

According to Starbucks, it already uses strawless lids in 8,000 North American stores for drinks like its draft nitro and cold foam beverages and they are being tested for some beverages in other markets including China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Starbucks spokeswoman Haley Drage said that the coffee chain will launch two new cold offerings that use the lids, including a salted cream cold foam cold brew in the U.S. and Canada in the near future.

Globally, debate around plastic waste is catching momentum and getting fiery everyday as it is blamed on ocean pollution and harming birds and sea mammals.

Concerning the same, a group of investors in June raised their discontent on efforts to tame plastic menace, demanding that companies including Nestle SA and PepsiCo Inc. reduce their use of plastic packaging.

The campaign has also gained traction from governments who are pushing for corporate sustainability.

Customers in Seattle and Vancouver will be the first to see these changes roll out in the fall.

On July 1, Seattle became the first U.S. city to ban plastic straws, utensils and cocktail picks.

In April, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced a proposal to ban plastic straws and other single-use plastics effective next year.

McDonald’s was among the first fast food companies to commit to eliminating plastic straws in some of its markets in Europe including UK and Ireland by 2019.

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