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Starbucks cites threats to oceans, eliminates plastic straws

Sheetal Sukhija - Tuesday 10th July, 2018

SEATTLE, U.S. - As food and beverage companies face increasing pressure from environmental activists to use sustainable solutions, now Starbucks has become the latest chain to decide to ditch plastic straws. 

The coffee chain company said that it will eliminate plastic straws from all of its locations within two years, citing the environmental threat to oceans.

The decision by the largest food and beverage company comes amid increasing global calls for big companies to stand as an example and switch to sustainable solutions.

The Seattle company saw its hometown banning plastic drinking straws and utensils a week back and announced on Monday that by 2020, it will be using straws made from biodegradable materials like paper and specially designed lids. 

Starbucks pointed out that it already offers alternative straws in Seattle and some cities like Fort Meyers have already banned plastic straws

Further, similar proposals are being considered in places like New York and San Francisco.

Recently, the fast food giant McDonald's announced that it will switch to paper straws in the U.K. and Ireland

It said that it will test an alternative to plastic straws in some of its U.S. restaurants too

Before that, in February, Dunkin' Donuts said that it would eliminate polystyrene foam cups from its stores by 2020.

Meanwhile, in its announcement on Monday, Starbucks said that to eliminate straws, it is transitioning from the flat, plastic lids that require them, to ones that feature a raised lip you can drink from. 

Starbucks added that it begin rolling out the new lids for all drinks this fall, starting with stores in Vancouver, Canada, and Seattle.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement that the move away from plastic straws was a "significant milestone" in the company's sustainability efforts.

So far, Starbucks had already committed to $10 million to help develop recyclable, compostable cups for hot drinks.

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