This one actually has some merit. Believe it or not, one of the latest trends in environmentally sound activism targets one of the peskiest polluters on the earth: the plastic drinking straw. Long an easy way to make a covered drink accessible to the consumer, said consumers are not always careful with how they dispose of the tools, and inevitably they end up in the ecosystem and landfills.
That being the case, environmentalists everywhere are forgoing the straw at restaurants. Now, Starbucks is jumping on board the movement with the announcement that by 2020 most straws will be eliminated from drinks served in their stores.
According to Starbucks, strawless lids will become the standard for all iced coffee, tea, and espresso drinks. Some observers have compared them to “adult sippy cups,” since both feature a raised plastic lip for drinking.
Frappuccino drinks will be served with the new eco-friendly straws, but customers may request the other cups if they’d prefer no straw at all.
These drinks account for about half of sales at Starbucks. Any such change will be significant in the long run when it comes to what ends up in landfills.
This is not at all the first time Starbucks has done such a thing. For many years, patrons have been able to purchase reusable commuter mugs and can have them filled thus eliminating the cost of paper and plastic to-go cups.
Starbucks President and CEO Kevin Johnson called the move “a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways.” The company will begin offering the new lids in Vancouver and Seattle this fall.
The buzzword is “sustainable,” but the truth is the less waste produced by humans that does not biodegrade readily the better for the planet.
Many Americans do not patronize Starbucks for various reasons. That, of course, is their right. However, with this move, Starbucks is actually leading the way on an issue that truly does deserve more attention.