Several European countries and cities in the United States are mulling restrictions on the use of plastic straws, although outright bans are still rare.
Americans use an estimated 500 million single-use strawsdaily, according to Eco-Cycle.
Attention all iced coffee, shaken tea and other cold drink lovers - soon those icy beverages may come in containers that don't use straws, if they come from Starbucks.
Seattle and Vancouver, Canada locations will be the first of Starbucks 28,000 stores worldwide to see the new strawless lids. Non-profit environmental group For A Strawless Ocean advocated for the use of Aardvark biodegradable straws, which are said to decompose in 45-90 days.
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 USA and Canada, which feature raised plastic openings for sipping drinks. Ice-blended Frappuccinos, meanwhile, will be served with straws made of paper or compostable plastic. Stainless steel and paper straws have become hot new items for drinking cool beverages. Among the big names advocating for straw bans are actor Adrian Grenier, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, and actor Kendrick Sampson. "As we partner with Starbucks in waste reduction initiatives such as Next Gen Consortium Cup Challenge and WWF's Cascading Materials Vision, we hope others will follow in their footsteps". "The siren is calling". In June, McDonald's announced it would start phasing out plastic straws at about 1,300 restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland. At the time, Starbucks wavered on the proposal; a company spokesperson told Mic that Starbucks would be developing a "recyclable and compostable cup solution", but wouldn't reveal specifically its plans for straws.
Starbucks stock closed at $48.98, up 37 cents or 0.76%, on Friday.