the chain gang

Starbucks Says It Will Phase Out Plastic Straws

Photo: Courtesy of Starbucks

Just a few weeks after its home city of Seattle banned plastic straws, Starbucks is following suit. On Monday, the coffee company announced plans to go “strawless,” for the most part, by 2020. Doing some serious math, the chain says the move will keep an estimated 1 billion straws out of landfills.

As an alternative, Starbucks will serve its iced coffee, tea, and other sippable drinks in cups with strawless lids, already available in 8,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada, which feature raised plastic openings for sipping drinks. (The chain also said it will introduce alternative-material straws for some beverages.)

Of course, Starbucks isn’t alone in its quest to clean up its reputation by cleaning up the environment. McDonald’s is also actively working on eliminating plastic straws and is currently testing alternative straws in the U.K. and Ireland, where a ban on plastic straws will go into effect next year.

Starbucks will start phased rollouts of its strawless lids in the U.S. and Canada in 2019 before moving onto Europe, where the new lids will debut in France, the Netherlands, and the U.K.

Starbucks Will Go Strawless by 2020