The Digest: Starbucks Is Replacing Plastic Straws With "Sippy Cups" for Adults

Starbucks to ditch plastic straws globally by 2020 to help environment

Starbucks says it will serve drinks with lids that resemble sippy-cup openings instead of with plastic straws.

Coffee giant Starbucks said Monday it will eliminate plastic drinking straws over the next two years and replace them with a specially-designed lid for cold drinks. After countless petitions and consumers calling for action, Starbucks is going strawless!

For some Starbucks drinkers, the companys new strawless lid may look familiar. On July 1, Seattle became the first US city to ban plastic straws, spoons, forks and knives.

The company said in a release that paper or compostable straws will be available for customers upon request, and will be served with their Frappuccino blended drinks. Plastic straws have become a flashpoint. The environmentally friendly lid is now available in more than 8,000 of its stores in the US and Canada for select beverages, including Draft Nitro and Cold Foam.

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Pressure has been building for businesses to shed single-use plastic straws due to the threat they pose to marine life and the health of the world's oceans. It is "a cleaner, less-ridged version of a hot cup lid", the company said in a statement. At the time, Starbucks wavered on the proposal; a company spokesperson told Mic that Starbucks would be developing a "recyclable and compostable cup solution", but wouldn't reveal specifically its plans for straws. And straws contribute only 2,000 tons to the nearly nine million tons of plastic waste that wind up in the water annually, according to the Associated Press.

A number of local governments have pushed to limit the use of plastic straws by passing restrictive legislation. "As we partner with Starbucks in waste reduction initiatives. we hope others will follow in their footsteps".

Seattle and Vancouver, BC will be the first cities to sip on their iced drinks without straws, with other locations launching the new lids through 2020. It is now also in the middle of testing paper straws in its United Kingdom stores.

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