Starbucks to phase out single-use plastic straws from stores by 2020

10 July 2018 (Last Updated July 10th, 2018 12:09)

Starbucks Coffee Company has unveiled plans to remove single-use plastic straws from all of its stores globally by 2020.

Starbucks to phase out single-use plastic straws from stores by 2020
Starbucks plans to introduce strawless lids across all its stores, starting with Seattle and Vancouver branches. Credit: Starbucks Corporation.

Starbucks Coffee Company has unveiled plans to remove single-use plastic straws from all of its stores globally by 2020.

The company seeks to make a shift to the strawless lid or introduce alternative-material straw options in more than 28,000 of its company-operated and licensed stores.

The move builds upon a $10m commitment made by Starbucks to develop a fully recyclable and compostable global cup solution in collaboration with Closed Loop Partners.

The initiative is also expected to account for the removal of one billion plastic straws a year from the retailer’s stores.

“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.”

The strawless lid developed by the retailer is currently available in more than 8,000 stores in the US and Canada for selected beverages, including Starbucks Draft Nitro and Cold Foam.

It is also being introduced in additional markets, including China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam on a trial basis for Nitro beverages.

In addition, the retailer is planning to offer straws made from alternative materials, including paper or compostable plastic, for Frappuccino blended beverages.

Starbucks president and CEO Kevin Johnson said: “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.”

The strawless lids will be first introduced in Seattle and Vancouver this year, before expanding to other regions in the US and Canada next year, as well as other parts of the world, beginning with selected stores in France and Netherlands.

World Wildlife Fund, US Sustainability Research & Development and Material Science director Erin Simon said: “Plastic straws that end up in our oceans have a devastating effect on species. As we partner with Starbucks in waste reduction initiatives such as Next Gen Consortium Cup Challenge and WWF’s Cascading Materials Vision, we hope others will follow in their footsteps.”

Meanwhile, the firm is set to expand a 5p paper cup charge to 950 stores in the UK later this month, which was previously trialled in London.