On Monday, Starbucks announced that it would phase out use of plastic straws by 2020, beginning with the U.S. and Canada. That's over 28,00 stores worldwide, and a decision that will eliminate over a billion straws a year.
The plan is to replace straws with specifically designed lids, currently used for Draft Nitro and Cold Foam drinks. These lids will become the standard for all drinks, except the ever-popular Frappucino, for which a biodegradable paper straw will be created. According to the news release from Starbucks, customers will be allowed to request straws made from alternative materials for their drinks.
Seattle and Vancouver will be the first phases, followed by more roll outs in the U.S. and Canada this upcoming year. The global roll out will follow, beginning with the U.K., France, and the Netherlands in Europe.
Starbucks also encourages BYOT - Bring Your Own Tumbler. You can purchase Starbucks reusable tumblers from stores for as low as $1 and receive a $0.10 discount when you use your own tumbler! In London, U.K., Starbucks is experimenting with a 5p paper cup charge to encourage customers to BYOT.
Other companies that have made commitments to stop using plastic straws include A&W and McDonalds, as well as major cities and states in the U.S., including New York City and California.
You can read Starbucks' full news release here.