Starbucks ditching plastic straws out of environmental concerns

Starbucks unveils environment-friendly lid for cold drinks which puts straws on shelf

In a release, the company stated its stores in Seattle and Vancouver would see the departure of plastic straws first, beginning in the fall.

Starbucks is to ban plastic straws from all of of its stores by 2020, amounting to the elimination of more than one billion plastic straws each year.

Starbucks announced Monday it will eliminate single-use plastic straws from its more than 28,000 stores around the world.

The company has already designed and developed a strawless lid that it expects to become a standard for its iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages.

"For our partners and customers, this is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways", said Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer for Starbucks.

McDonald's United Kingdom recently announced plans to start phasing out plastic straws and replacing them with paper straws, while Alaska Airlines also announced plans to ban plastic straws and stir sticks aboard their aircrafts.

Starbucks is saying goodbye to its signature green plastic straws. These new straws will also be made available upon request to customers who prefer or need a straw, the company said. Similar proposals are being considered in places like NY and San Francisco.

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"Not using a straw is the best thing we can do for the environment".

Grenier, best known for his role in the TV show Entourage, urged Starbucks at its March shareholders meeting in Seattle to take action.

Wes Knopp, the owner of Lone Light Coffee, said, "I think a majority of people would not get a plastic straw if they weren't provided with one automatically". "The siren is calling".

"With 8 million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we can not afford to let industry sit on the sidelines, and we are grateful for Starbucks leadership in this space", Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancys Trash Free Seas program, said in the release.

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Starbucks stock closed at $48.98, up 37 cents or 0.76%, on Friday.

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