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11 July 2018, 06:00 | Edward Lowe
Courtesy of Starbucks
Starbucks, in a July 9 announcement, said it is the largest food and beverage retailer to ditch plastic straws, a move that's expected to eliminate 1 billion such units each year.
By the fall, all cold coffee beverages in Seattle and Vancouver will be served with the same strawless lid now offered for the cold brew drinks.
Starbucks will launch two new cold offerings in the USA and Canada on Tuesday that use the lids, including a salted cream cold foam cold brew, Starbucks spokeswoman Haley Drage said in an email.
Starting in Vancouver and their home city of Seattle, Starbucks stores will begin giving customers a new kind of strawless lid for iced espresso, coffee, and tea beverages.
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Starbucks announced Monday it will offer recyclable strawless lids and eco-friendly straws in its more than 28,000 stores beginning this fall. A larger-scale rollout will begin in North America this fall and in Europe and the United Kingdom next year.
"There are several of these single-use items the public is realising, hey, we don't actually need these", said Denise Hardesty, a scientist with Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation who studies plastic pollution.
Today the company announced that it is getting rid of plastic straws everywhere by a certain date.
In a statement, CEO Kevin Johnson called the move away from plastic straws a "significant milestone" in the company's sustainability efforts. Other companies and consumers are following the trend towards becoming more environmentally conscious.
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Earlier this year, Starbucks committed $10 million over three years to help find an alternative to its ubiquitous hot beverage cups - its third such attempt in a decade - which are complicated to recycle due to their plastic liner.
Other cities, like Fort Meyers, have banned plastic straws as well. "By nature, the straw isn't recyclable and the lid is, so we feel this decision is more sustainable and more socially responsible", said Starbucks' director of packaging sourcing Chris Milne. Although the fast food chain later announced a campaign to replace plastic straws with paper ones in the United Kingdom and select markets in Asia, its top management decided that expanding the change to its over 140,000 locations in the US would be too costly.
"Basically (for) the small drink straws, there's not an easy way to recycle them", she said.
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