2018 has been a big year for companies moving away from non-recyclable plastics, and there’s even more great news that just broke recently. On July 9, Starbucks announced that it will eliminate all single-use plastic straws from their business by 2020. Here’s the scoop:
The company’s president and CEO, Kevin Johnson, explained, “this is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways.” With 28,000 stores in 76 countries, that means a reduction of over 1 billion straws each year across the globe — a major step in making the food service industry greener.
To help reach their goal, Starbucks is pioneering what they call the “strawless lid,” which you may see today if you buy their nitro coffee offerings. The internet has likened them to adult sippy cups because you can take a swig of your drink right from a raised portion of the lid. Aside from being fun to drink from, they’re made from 100% recyclable plastic.
For markets where the strawless lids aren’t realizable, Starbucks is prepared to offer alternative straw options made from sustainable paper or compostable eco-plastics. But don’t expect to see these straws sitting out on the countertop — they’re only available via request. That alone may go a long way toward breaking the straw habit and make people ask themselves if they truly need one.
These small changes for Starbucks customers signal huge changes for our planet’s oceans. Single-use plastic straws are one of the leading contaminants in the seas, and having 1 billion fewer of them used each year is a step toward a lasting solution.
The coffee company will be joining the ranks of others who strive to keep plastics out of the ocean like many cruise lines are beginning to do. The World Wildlife Fund and the Ocean Conservancy both praised Starbucks for their leadership in keeping nature plastic-free.
Here at Ernest, we’ve been leaders in packaging solutions for over 70 years, and a big part of that lies in sustainability. With the ocean just a short drive from our headquarters, we can rest on the beach assured that others like us are working toward the reduction of non-recyclable materials to keep our oceans clean.