Starbucks Going Strawless By 2020

Photo Credit: StockSnap / under Creative Commons

We’ve seen them disappearing from coffee shops, restaurants and cafés in St. Petersburg, but now plastic straws will also be phased out at Starbucks locations worldwide.

The coffee company announced this month that they will be removing plastic straws from all of their stores by 2020.  This will help eliminate more than 1 billion plastic straws per year, according to Starbucks.

The new initiative is a major move for the company that continues to improve its sustainability efforts. Recently, Starbucks also committed $10 million to develop recyclable, compostable cups for their hot beverages.

In order to eliminate plastic straws, Starbucks will be introducing a new plastic lid that features a raised lip that you can drink from. The new lids will be used on iced beverages that previously used flat plastic lids and green plastic straws. Frappuccinos, that feature whipped cream on top will still be served with their plastic dome lids, however the plastic straws will be swapped out for straws made of compostable plastic or paper.

Photo Credit: Starbucks/ Twitter.

Starbucks isn’t the only one to jump on the strawless bandwagon. McDonald’s announced last month that they are switching to paper straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland. They’re planning to have completely eliminated plastic straws at their restaurants in those locations by 2019.

Plastic straws are not biodegradable and contribute to ocean pollution, which is why there is such a push to eliminate single-use plastic straws.

In USA alone, 500 million straws are used every single day. We use straws for around twenty minutes before we toss them away, which is an astonishingly quick lifespan for an item that will be on the planet forever. Straws also contain BPA, and can’t be recycled.


Some governments have taken notice of the pollution caused by plastic straws and their threat on marine life, so they have banned them all together. Oakland and Berkley, California are among the cities who have banned disposable plastic straws.

St. Petersburg has yet to ban plastic straws, but the city’s residents and businesses are making strides in that direction. I Love The Burg, a popular local blog, along with local officials, started a campaign called, “No Straws St. Pete”. They are asking local businesses and patrons to reduce their carbon footprint and help eliminate plastic pollution in our coastal community. Many restaurants in the area have already adopted this idea and have eliminated plastic straws.

Photo Credit: I Love The Burg St.Pete/ Facebook

Still not sold on the no straw movement? While Starbucks is hoping most people accept their new “sippy cup” style lid, they will offer eco-friendly straws upon special request.

The new lids are going to roll out this fall, starting with locations in Canada and Seattle.