Starbucks, citing ocean threat, is ditching plastic straws

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It's a plastic strawless lid that will come to replace single-use plastic straws that now inundate its coffee shops.

The strawless lid has already been in use at numerous company's stores for certain kinds of cold drinks like cold foam and "draft nitro", the coffee drink that comes out of a keg, mixed with nitrogen.

In a move meant to cut back on waste, the worldwide coffee giant said Monday that it would eliminate plastic straws from its more than 28,000 locations globally by 2020. Plastic straws have become one of the biggest targets.

For users who still want their drinks with a straw, the company said paper or biodegradable plastic will be available by request.

Other communities across the country, including Sanibel Island, located in Florida, are also on the list of places considering a ban on these plastic products.

A number of local governments have recently passed legislation restricting the use and distribution of plastic straws.

Starbucks said more markets will follow until the chain meets its goal.

Starbucks is saying goodbye to its signature green plastic straws.

The company's announcement comes a week after it's hometown, Seattle, banned single-use plastic straws and utensils at businesses that sell food or drinks in the city. Oakland and Berkeley, California, and other cities have also banned the use of disposable straws. Straws add up to about 2,000 tons of the almost 9 million tons of plastic waste that ends up in the water each year.

The strawless lid is available in more than 8,000 stores in the USA and Canada for drinks such as nitro cold brew and cold foam cold brew coffee.

"Plastic straws that end up in our oceans have a devastating effect on species", said Erin Simon, director of sustainability research & development and material science at World Wildlife Fund, US, in a statement.

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