The Straw That Broke Starbuck's Back
Starbucks is ending it’s long relationship with plastic straws, stating that all 28,000 of their locations will have them kicked out for good by 2020.
The world’s largest coffee chain is taking some responsibility for the huge amount of plastic waste that’s not properly recycled. Starbucks goes through about 1 billion plastic straws every year, and many of those straws end up in our oceans.
Recently, straws have had their time in the crime-light as an unrecycled villain. They’re currently the trendiest plastic item to ban, with cities like Seattle and celebrities like Neil degrasse Tyson encouraging the world to #stopsucking and get rid of straws for good.
But is banning straws the solution to our plastic waste problem?
Straws are certainly a part of the problem. According to For A Strawless Ocean, there will be more plastic than fish in our ocean by 2050 at the current rate of waste that’s dumped into the sea. Americans use and toss about 500 million straws every day. That’s more than 182 billion (!) straws every year.
A huge part of that waste is single-use plastics, which are plastic products only used once before being tossed, like straws and red party cups. These products are easy targets for environmentalists since alternatives - reusable or recyclable cups and straws - are becoming more and more available.
As for Starbucks, cold drinks will be served with a recyclable strawless lid, although environmentally friendly straw alternatives will be available for frappuccinos or customers who can’t swallow the strawless movement.
If the trendiness of banning these suckers continues, we might witness the complete annhilation of plastic straws. Joining Seattle, Washington DC is looking to eliminate them entirely by 2019, and if our nation's capital is on board with the ban, other cities are likely to follow suit, and surely other companies will initiate their own straw exit strategy.
Plastic straws suck
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