Starbucks has announced it is eliminating plastic straws from its stores worldwide over the next two years, an environmental measure that it said will remove more than a billion plastic straws annually from its stores.
Starbucks' newly designed strawless lid will be used for all iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages.
Engineers successfully developed a "cleaner, less-ridged version of a hot cup lid", and decided to make it the standard for all iced drinks except the Frappuccino, totally phasing out straws by the year 2020.
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Starbucks said cold beverages in which a straw is typically included make up 50% of the drinks its sells, up from just 37% five years ago.
Frappuccino drinks will still be served with dome lids, but with straws made from paper or compostable plastic. A plastic straw weighs about 0.4 g. A global rollout, starting with Europe, will come next.
The move echoes a trend of companies and cities attempting to move away from single-use plastic straws, which can be detrimental to the environment and take an estimated 450 years to decompose. Malibu, Calif., Miami Beach, Fla., and Monmouth Beach, N.J., also prohibit single-use sippers.
Fueling the movement is increased consumer environmentalism and concern about the many straws that end up polluting oceans and waterways.
I am pleased with the announcement, too, and eagerly await the day when needlessly sipping on a straw is seen as a harmful and archaic behavior.
Other cities, like Fort Meyers, have banned plastic straws. Last year, Starbucks started testing straws made from materials in its Santa Cruz, California location. "I hope all of you will listen to her".
As for the "strawless lids", Starbucks is already using them in about 8,000 select stores around North America.
Starbucks stock closed at $48.98, up 37 cents or 0.76%, on Friday.