Have you ever given thought to how many of those unmistakable green plastic straws end up on our beaches and in our oceans each year? You see them and know exactly where they came from: one of the largest corporations on the planet where coffee is bought, consumed, and tossed aside daily to the tune of more than $22 billion worldwide, each year. It’s enough consumption that Starbucks estimates it uses as many as one billion plastic straws in a 12-month period, contributing to the estimated eight million metric tons of plastic waste that ends up in our oceans, according to Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas program.
The company announced Monday they’ll be strawless by 2020, phasing out the flat, plastic lids that require their unmistakable green straws starting this fall. Instead, they’ll start to use a new lid with a raised lip, making their new cups look more like adult sippy cups. Starbucks has actually been using the lid design for their nitro cold brew coffee already and will start rolling them out with more drinks at stores in Seattle and Canada first.
Looks like an adult sippy cup but really it’s the new @Starbucks straw-free iced coffee lids! They come with the nitro cold brews, but you can ask for one for any cold drink to be more eco-friendly 🌎☕️ pic.twitter.com/OyzEKDucPS
— Abby Isaacs WMAR (@AbbyIsaacsNews) July 3, 2018
Actor an environmental advocate Adrian Grenier says he delivered a statement to Starbucks shareholders in March pleading for the company to adopt more environmentally-friendly policies. After seeing the green straws litter beaches, he and the organization Lonely Whale began a #StopSucking social media campaign.
Just in time for my birthday @starbucks has finally decided to #stopsucking! Yay. It’s been quite a journey to get here. After seeing green straws litter our beaches in unacceptable numbers, we at @lonelywhale decided to do something. Last September my friend @PaulNicklen and I asked you to join us in challenging @Starbucks to #StopSucking on plastic straws. In March, I delivered a statement in #seattle to shareholders sharing my vision for a #StrawlessOcean, asking the company to vote YES for ocean-friendly practices. Well, OUR voices were heard! I’m excited to share that #Starbucks has committed to phase out plastic straws by 2020. While eliminating single-use plastic straws will not fix the #plasticpollution crisis, it is a critical step for #CleanSeas. We need more leadership like this. Who’s next? 👀 @LonelyWhale @UNEnvironment