As Fast Company reported, plastic straws have been banned or are planned to be banned by Alaska Airlines and McDonald's U.K., as well as in Vancouver, the U.K., Taiwan, Seattle, Miami Beach, and in California cities such as Oakland and Berkeley, to name a few. Instead, Starbucks announced in a press release, it will start using "strawless lids" and straws made from "alternative materials", such as paper or "compostable plastic".
By 2020, the company announced today, it will have entirely eliminated the use of single-use plastic straws in stores around the world.
The environmentally friendly lid is now available in more than 8,000 of its stores in the US and Canada for select beverages, including Draft Nitro and Cold Foam.
A global rollout of the strawless lid will begin in Europe, starting with select stores in France and the Netherlands.
Other companies have been ditching plastic straws as bans on the item have gone into place.
The company also announced plans to add two new cold beverages to the permanent menu, making good on a shareholder promise to increase the variety of its cold drinks, which represent 50 percent of beverage sales.
Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and CEO, called the move a "significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways".
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McDonald's recently said it would switch to paper straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland by next year, and test alternatives to plastic straws in some US locations. Plastic straws have become one of the biggest targets.
For customers who prefer to have or need a straw, Starbucks said straws made of paper or compostable plastic will be available upon request - for their Frappuccino blended beverages.
And the city of Vancouver will become the first Canadian city to ban plastic drinking straws, along with Styrofoam cups and take-out containers, when the new rule takes effect next summer.
"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. "I hope all of you will listen to her".
Starbucks said the conversion will be complete by 2020.
Starbucks stock closed at $48.98, up 37 cents or 0.76%, on Friday.