Starbucks ditching plastic straws out of environmental concerns

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Starbucks ditching plastic straws out of environmental concerns

"As the largest food and beverage retailer to make such a commitment, Starbucks will eliminate more than 1 billion plastic straws per year from Starbucks stores", the company said in a statement.

The company has already designed and developed a strawless lid that it expects to become a standard for its iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages.

However, customers who prefer or need a straw can still request one, but they will be made of alternative materials.

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Other companies have been ditching plastic straws as bans on the item have gone into place. "Metal straws can be risky for people with neurological conditions such as Parkinson's whereas reusable plastic straws present hygiene concerns to people with specific health conditions".

Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and CEO, called the move a "significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways". And it's a part of Starbucks' $10 million investment in creating recyclable and compostable cups around the world. A global rollout will follow, starting in Europe where the strawless lids will arrive in select stores in France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Similar proposals are being considered elsewhere, including NY and San Francisco.

Starbucks said that it will begin using the strawless alternatives in Seattle and Vancouver stores by this fall, and expand to the US and Canada, followed by other global locations, in fiscal year 2019.

WATCH: Plastic straw ban?

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

Starbucks said the conversion will be complete by 2020.

Other companies have also been ditching plastic straws in recent months.

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