Illustration for article titled Starbucks to replace straws with new type of lids by 2020em/em
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Adding to the growing movement to rid the world of environmentally-dangerous-and-hazardous-to-ocean-life straws, Starbucks announces its plan to quit distributing single-use straws by 2020. Instead, the chain will focus on “strawless lids,” according to The Washington Post: “The coffee giant said Monday that it will replace the ubiquitous plastic straw with recyclable ‘strawless lids,’ as well as straws made from biodegradable materials, as part of a no-plastic-straws movement that has gained momentum in recent years.” Currently, Starbucks goes through 1 billion straws annually, with more than half of its revenue coming from cold drinks sipped through those seemingly ever-present green plastic straws.

These strawless lids will seem familiar to anyone who’s ever had Starbucks hot coffee: They look like that white plastic lid in a clear plastic. For those of us who can’t stand swallowing ice cubes (guilty), it’s a neat bit of product design, and should help ease Starbucks’ strawless transition. With this announcement, Starbucks joins a number of chains and institutions dedicated to phasing out single-use straws—the fifth-most common kind of trash picked up off of coastlines—like Ikea, McDonald’s, the Smithsonian Institution, Walt Disney World, and the entire city of Seattle, where Starbucks is based.


Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

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