In a recent announcement, Starbucks, the coffeehouse giant, has declared that the company will be eliminating the use of plastic straws from all its stores across the globe by 2020. Starbucks is undertaking such a step to become a more environment-friendly company, claim sources.
The decision by Starbucks to eliminate straws comes on the heels of Seattle banning the use of plastic straws and utensils. Incidentally, plastic straws are one of the chief single use items that more consumers are realizing to be completely dispensable.
Other cities like Fort Myers have banned plastic straws and San Francisco and New York are considering the proposal as well. Earlier in 2018, Dunkin’ Donuts announced the elimination of polystyrene foam cups by 2020. Other fast food behemoths like McDonald’s have recently switched to using paper straws in the UK and Ireland. McDonald’s in fact plans to implement the same measures in its U.S. stores as well and has declared that by 2025 the burger chain will be using only recycled materials for Happy Meal boxes, packaging and soda cups.
Plastic straws are said to make up only 4% of the plastic trash which is far less than other major plastic trash contributors like plastic bags, to-go containers, water bottles and disposable cups. Straws are responsible for creating 2,000 tons of the nearly 9 million tons of plastic waste produced each year.
Renowned food chains which are committing to eliminate the use of plastic have declared that they require time to change practices due to difficulty in securing alternate sources. Imperial Dade, a food service and supplies distributor in New Jersey, claims to have recorded a significant spike in the demand for alternative straws in the recent months.
Starbucks will start the use of straw-less lids in Seattle and Vancouver in the fall and will continue the phasing out of straws in U.S. and Canada over the next year. A global roll-out will follow with straw-less lids being used in France, Netherlands and UK.