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Starbucks Has Officially Abandoned Plastic Straws For Iced Beverages

Starbucks is following up on its commitment to get rid of plastic straws and is bringing in its long-awaited “sippy cup” lids for iced beverages.

The coffee giant announced in July 2018 it would begin phasing out plastic straws from all its stores by 2020, the modified plastic lid with a drinking spout is now making its official debut.

However, blended beverages, including frappuccinos, and other drinks with whipped cream will still come with a domed lid. In places where plastic straws are prohibited by local law, straws with alternative materials will be used.

The straw-free lids will be fully adopted in company-operated and licensed Starbucks stores in both the United States and Canada by the end of the month. The new lids contain 9% less plastic than Starbucks previous flat lid and straw combination. The lids are also made of polypropylene, a commonly accepted recyclable plastic.

“Recyclable, strawless lids for customers across the US and Canada is another step in our journey to reduce our environmental footprint,” Michael Kobori, Starbucks’ chief sustainability officer told CNN. “As we move closer toward our 2030 target of a 50 percent reduction in waste sent to landfills, the long-standing history of innovation within Starbucks, partnership across the industry and changing consumer behavior remain fundamental to our purpose and our prosperity as an organization.”

Plastic straws have been known to increase ocean pollution and microplastics can harm marine wildlife. Starbucks say it’s trying to eliminate more than one billion plastic straws per year.

Miami Beach, Florida; Monmouth Beach, New Jersey, Oakland and Berkeley, California, have all banned the use of disposable plastic straws.

A 2020 study by the academic journal Science Advances said that as of 2015, only 9% of plastics are being recycled, 12% is incinerated and the other 79% ends up in the environment.

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