Starbucks announced that it plans to pull plastic straws from all 28,000 of its global locations by 2020.
The anti-plastic straw movement has been gaining momentum: with manufacturers such as Diageo, Bacardi and Pernod Ricard already pledging to ban their use in their operations. Small chains and retail locations are getting the ball rolling by switching from plastic straws and utensils to recyclable ones, and several local governments have passed bans on the products. Last week Seattle became the first major US city to ban plastic straws and utensils. Smaller towns like Berkeley and Oakland in California and Miami Beach have already gotten rid of plastic straws. In April the UK outlined plans to eliminate plastic straws and drink stirrers, and McDonald's plans to switch out its plastic straws for paper ones at all locations in the UK and Ireland later this year. The company revealed that cold beverages now account for more than 50% of its total drink sales, up from 37% just five years ago. Starbucks estimates that growth to continue, and that once the transition is complete it will eliminate one billion plastic straws per year. The main option is a recyclable, strawless lid that acts somewhat like an adult sippy cup. It will be the standard for their products and is already being tested at more than 8,000 locations in US and Canada.