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The last straw? Starbucks pledges to eliminate plastic straws globally by 2020

09 July 2018

It will be implemented in Seattle and Vancouver beginning this fall, the company said.

Instead, its beverages will be capped with strawless lids - reminiscent of an "adult sippy cup" - or served with straws made from alternative materials "including paper or compostable plastic", according to a statement.

The strawless lid, which features a raised lip, is already available in more than 8,000 stores in the US and Canada for select beverages.

Starbucks will begin offering "strawless lids" on iced coffee, tea and espresso drinks.

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

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.

The no-straw movement, which had already been brewing in certain communities and beach towns, gained mainstream traction three years ago after a video showing a sea turtle with a plastic straw wedged in its nose went viral.

Swedish furniture giant IKEA recently announced that it will stop selling single-use plastic products at all its stores globally by 2020.

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The announcement from McDonald's followed an April proposal by the United Kingdom government to ban plastic straws in the country.

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.

The move echoes a trend of companies and cities attempting to move away from single-use plastic straws, which can be detrimental to the environment and take an estimated 450 years to decompose. The transition will be complete in 2019, the company said.

Starbucks stock closed at $48.98, up 37 cents or 0.76%, on Friday.

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The last straw? Starbucks pledges to eliminate plastic straws globally by 2020