- The Washington Times - Monday, July 9, 2018

Starbucks plans to eliminate plastic straws in locations across the globe by 2020, the company announced on Monday.

The coffee giant will phase out plastic straws in over 28,000 stores, which it estimates will eliminate more than a billion straws per year.

In place of the plastic straw, the company is launching a new lid design that functions like their hot drink caps. Customers will still be able to request paper or compostable straws if needed.

“For our partners and customers, this is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways,” said Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer for Starbucks said in the statement.

Seattle and Vancouver will be the first areas to try out the new green plan, with more following in Canada and the U.S. throughout 2019.

“Plastic straws that end up in our oceans have a devastating effect on species. 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,” said Director of Sustainability Research & Development and Material Science at World Wildlife Fund, U.S, Erin Simon in the company’s statement.

The straw policy is part of a larger plan for Starbuck’s sustainability goals. Other elements include reaching 100 percent of renewable energy usage and 99 percent of ethically sourced coffee.

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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