Starbucks said that it is the largest food and beverage retailer to have promised to get rid of plastic straws. Swedish furniture giant IKEA recently announced that it will stop selling single-use plastic products at all its stores globally by 2020. The new designs have drawn comparisons to an adult "sippy cup".
Starbucks (sbux) will replace plastic straws with recyclable strawless lids, which it will serve with all of its iced coffee, tea, and espresso drinks. The company already offers alternative straws in Seattle.
In a statement, CEO Kevin Johnson called the move away from plastic straws a "significant milestone" in the company's sustainability efforts.
Local governments have also been looking at the issue.
Starbucks said that it will begin using the strawless alternatives in Seattle and Vancouver stores by this fall, and expand to the US and Canada, followed by other global locations, in fiscal year 2019.
Starbucks said cold beverages in which a straw is typically included make up 50 percent of the drinks its sells, up from just 37 percent five years ago.
A week after its hometown banned plastic drinking straws and utensils, the Seattle company said Monday that by 2020, it will be using straws made from biodegradable materials like paper and specially designed lids. Oakland and Berkeley, California, and other cities have also banned the use of disposable straws. Straws add up to about 2,000 tons of the almost 9 million tons of plastic waste that ends up in waters around the globe each year.
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