Starbucks is officially going strawless.
Continue Reading Below
The coffee giant announced Monday it will begin to phase out plastic straws from all of its stores, with a plan to scrap them completely by 2020.
The move will eliminate more than one billion plastic straws per year, the company said.
In order to eliminate straws, Starbucks will begin transitioning its flat plastic lids to recyclable plastic lids that feature a raised lip that you can drink from. The rollout for the new adult “sippy cups” is expected this fall.
“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.
However, customers who prefer or need a straw can still request one, but they will be made of alternative materials. Last year, Starbucks started testing straws made from materials in its Santa Cruz, California location. It is now also in the middle of testing paper straws in its U.K. stores. Starbucks said it has committed more than $10 million to this initiative so far.
Starbucks’ decision to stop using the straws follows last week’s news that its founding city, Seattle, banned the use of all plastic straws and utensils in bars and restaurants in a push to reduce waste and prevent marine plastic pollution. Seattle is believed to be the first major U.S. city to ban single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service, according to the Seattle Public Utilities.
Other companies have also been ditching plastic straws in recent months. McDonald’s said in June it would start switching to paper straws in the U.K. and Ireland in September.