Starbucks will phase out plastic straws from its more than 28,000 stores worldwide by 2020, a decision that will eliminate more than 1 billion straws a year. Starbucks strawless lids, designed by Starbucks Global Research & Development team, will become the standard lid for all iced drinks except Frappuccino. For these blended drinks and those customers who do prefer a straw, Starbucks is introducing straws made from alternative materials such as paper or PLA compostable plastic.
Starbucks target is to phase out plastic straws from its more than 28,000 stores worldwide by 2020, a decision that will eliminate more than 1 billion straws a year.
Going strawless is just one of the ways that Starbucks is thinking through more sustainable approaches to single-use packaging. The company has invested $10 million in the NextGen Cup Challenge, which seeks to develop a fully recyclable and compostable hot cup.
Starbucks is also encouraging customers to BYOT — “bring your own tumbler” — by granting discounts as part of its efforts to reduce waste. In Spring 2018 the company trialled a corresponding initative in 34 stores across London with resounding success: a 5p charge on disposable cups resulted in a 126% increase in reusable cup use and is now on course to be rolled out in all 950 UK stores.
This success is also being followed up with a similar trial for paper cup recycling in 11 stores in the Netherlands and the testing of two new straw alternatives, including a paper and biodegradable plastic straw, in 54 London and Manchester stores.
These are all voluntary commitments and initiatives, not linked to specific legal obligations.