The Digest: Starbucks Is Replacing Plastic Straws With "Sippy Cups" for Adults

The Digest: Starbucks Is Replacing Plastic Straws With

To eliminate straws, Starbucks is transitioning from the flat, plastic lids that require them, to ones that feature a raised lip you can drink from.

The coffee-shop giant announced Monday that it will use recyclable strawless lids and an alternative-material straw option in its more than 28,000 stores around the world. The company has already designed and developed a strawless lid that it expects to become a standard for its iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages.

The city of Seattle-where Starbucks is based-is believed to be the first major USA city to ban plastic straws, in a regulation that took effect July 1. On July 1, Seattle became the first US city to ban plastic straws, spoons, forks and knives.

Straws have become a focal point in the anti-plastic movement in the last few years because they are impossible to recycle, due to their size and chemical composition.

Starbucks' move is garnering lavish praise from some environmental activists.

The lid that is replacing the straws is also plastic, but is also recyclable.

Straws made of alternative materials will still be available to customers on request. According to the Associated Press, scientists estimate 2,000 tons of straws end up in the ocean every year, posing a significant danger to marine life.

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The US company claim the move will mean one billion fewer straws are handed out.

The European Commission has proposed new rules that would ban the 10 biggest plastic pollutants found on Europe's beaches and in European waters, including plastic cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, stir sticks and balloon sticks.

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 push gained traction after a viral video in 2015 showed rescuers removing a straw from a sea turtle's nose in graphic detail.

Meanwhile, Bon Appétit Management is banning plastic straws and stirrers at more than 1,000 cafes and restaurants the food-service management company runs.

Craven also said she's starting to see more awareness about the need for exemptions for straws that bend, which people with disabilities and others may need.

"Starbucks taught the world how to drink coffee and I firmly believe that Starbucks can teach the world how to make the environment its ultimate business partner", Grenier said.

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