London: Starbucks will eliminate plastic straws from its stores worldwide by 2020 to reduce environmental plastic pollution, the company says. The coffee retailer will phase out single-use straws from its more than 28,000 locations, cutting out an estimated 1 billion straws each year.
Customers will instead be given plastic lids designed for use without a straw or with non-plastic straws. The use of plastic lids has been criticised by some consumers.
The decision was motivated by requests from partners and customers, said Colleen Chapman, vice-president of Starbucks’ global social impact in a statement. “Not using a straw is the best thing we can do for the environment.” Starbucks’ announcement included statements of support from organisations such as the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas programme and the World Wildlife Fund, praising the company for its straw ban.
Nicholas Mallos, of the Ocean Conservancy, said the ban was a shining example of the important role that companies can play in stemming the tide of ocean plastic. The announcement comes just one week after Seattle, Washington – home to Starbucks’ headquarters – became the first major US city to ban single-use plastic straws and cutlery in bars and restaurants. Starbucks’ pushback against plastic has drawn a mixed reaction.
M Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International, issued a statement saying that 500m plastic straws are thrown away every day in the US and lauded Starbucks for its “meaningful action.
- 28,000locations across the world
- 1crore straws to be cut each year
- Plastic pollution has long been the target of environmental groups, the impact of straws on marine life has recently moved to the centre of plastic-banning
- The straw-specific concern garnered widespread support after a 2015 viral video showed rescuers removing a plastic straw from an endangered sea turtle’s nose. efforts.