Starbucks announces plan to eliminate plastic straws by 2020

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Plastic straws never completely decompose and can be harmful, even fatal, to animals that ingest them.

It comes a week after Starbucks's USA hometown of Seattle banned single-use plastic straws and utensils at businesses that sell food or drinks in the city.

Last week, Seattle's ban on single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service outlets took effect, and Starbucks says it already offers alternative straws there.

The strawless lids will begin to appear in Seattle and Vancouver Starbucks this fall, with phased rollouts within the United States and Canada to follow next year. And it's a part of Starbucks' $10 million investment in creating recyclable and compostable cups around the world.

Starbucks will start rolling out strawless lids for all drinks in the fall. It is now also in the middle of testing paper straws in its United Kingdom stores.

Other cities, like Fort Meyers, have banned plastic straws as well. The transition will be complete in 2019, the company said.

McDonald's shareholders voted down a proposal requesting a report on plastic straws in May.

Local governments have also been looking at the issue.

Other communities across the country, including Sanibel Island, located in Florida, are also on the list of places considering a ban on these plastic products. Straws add up to about 2,000 tons of the almost 9 million tons of plastic waste that ends up in waters around the globe each year. Phased rollouts within the USA and Canada will then follow.

The company becomes the largest food and beverage company to do so as calls to cut waste globally grow louder.

"With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we can not afford to let industry sit on the sidelines", he said in a statement.

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