Starbucks Will Eliminate Plastic Straws Globally by 2020

29 2018 a woman is seen in front of a Starbucks shortly before it closes early for anti-bias training in Washington DC. Starbucks was back in hot water

29 2018 a woman is seen in front of a Starbucks shortly before it closes early for anti-bias training in Washington DC. Starbucks was back in hot water

Starbucks coffee company announced Monday it will start phasing out plastic straws over the next two years.

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".

Earlier this month Seattle became the first major United States city to ban plastic straws and plastic cutlery in its eateries.

For more on the decision to remove plastic straws, visit CNN.

These straw-free cups will be slowly interdouced to stores throughout the year with no mention yet as to when we can expect them here in Ireland. The new designs have drawn comparisons to an adult "sippy cup".

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Customers will instead be given plastic lids designed for use without a straw or with non-plastic straws.

Viral videos - including one depicting researchers extracting a plastic straw from a sea turtle's bleeding nostril - is prompting some companies and municipalities to find ocean-friendlier alternatives.

Starbucks is the biggest company to make the environmentally friendly move and it's expected that more companies will follow its lead and offer their own eco-friendly alternatives to plastic straws.

To comply with the July 1 plastic straw ban, Starbucks stores in Seattle are offering customers new compostable straws, splash sticks and cutlery.

"Plastic straws that end up in our oceans have a devastating effect on species", said Erin Simon, director of sustainability research and development and material science at WWF, U.S. That is harmful to the animals, of course, but also to humans who wind up ingesting traces of plastic themselves as it works its way up the food chain. And straws contribute only 2,000 tons to the nearly nine million tons of plastic waste that wind up in the water annually, according to the Associated Press. "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".

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