Starbucks is ditching straws for a good cause.
The coffee company announced on Monday its global plan to eliminate single-use plastic straws from more than 28,000 of the company's stores by 2020. Instead of the longtime drinking tool, the company will provide strawless lids, which will become the new standard for iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages. Through this decision, the company expects to eliminate more than one billion plastic straws annually from Starbucks stores.
If the new lid idea sounds familiar, perhaps you've already used one. Thousands of Starbucks stores in the United States and Canada have already put the strawless lids to work, using them for the Starbucks Draft Nitro and Cold Foam.
For the beverages that customers might still want a straw—like Frappuccinos— Starbucks will begin offering straws made from alternative materials like paper and compostable plastic by request.
According to the company, the new lids will be implemented in Seattle and Vancouver this fall with further rollouts in the United States and Canada in 2019. A global rollout will follow, beginning in Europe.
"For our partners and customers, this is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways," Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer for Starbucks, said in a statement.
"Starbucks' goal to eliminate plastic straws by 2020 from their stores globally represents the company's forward thinking in tackling the material waste challenge in totality," Erin Simon, director of sustainability research & development and material science at World Wildlife Fund, U.S, said in a statement. "Plastic straws that end up in our oceans have a devastating effect on species. As we partner with Starbucks in waste reduction initiatives such as Next Gen Consortium Cup Challenge and WWF's Cascading Materials Vision, we hope others will follow in their footsteps."
The news has sparked a mix of reactions from customers with some hailing the decision and others expressing concern over how the new lids will impact traveling with drinks.
Either way, prepare to sip!