Starbucks Is Getting Rid Of Plastic Straws To Help Save The Ocean

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Starbucks is changing things up a bit. The mega-popular coffee chain -- responsible for keeping millions of people all around the world energized and caffeinated in their daily routines and activities -- announced it is planning to get rid of plastic straws in all of its locations worldwide, with the change expected to be in effect by 2020. The reason for the straw removal from the business is more environmental-conscious than economical, reportedly, as the worldwide company claims it is hoping to eliminate more than one billion plastic straws used and disposed of in a given year.

More specifically, Starbucks is hoping to change their carbon footprint with the ocean, as plastic straws are known to contribute to ocean pollution. They also endanger marine life, according to CNN. Starbucks will be joining several governments who have begun banning them from their countries. Of course, such an undertaking is going to take some time. Starbucks devotes shouldn't expect the change to happen overnight, hence the 2020 estimated date. But the change is definitely going into effect sooner rather than later, and Starbucks already has an alternative to straws set in place.

To replace the straws, Starbucks will instead be using lids with raised lips which you can drink from. If you want a picture, it looks a lot like adult sippy cups, which might be a bit of an adjustment for regular Starbucks consumers. It might not be the coolest option, but the chain feels it's a step forward, ultimately, and it's part of the popular coffee company's long-term plan to improve its waste output at the millions upon millions of Starbucks locations found around the world. It should also be noted that some Starbucks drinks -- like the cold brew with cold foam, for instance -- are already served in strawless lids. So for some loyal costumers, this design change will not make a huge difference in their regular commutes to Starbucks, as they didn't need the straws to begin with.

Meanwhile, if you absolutely need a straw in your drink, Starbucks has you covered. It will soon be offering paper or combustible plastic straw options for those who seek straws in their drinks, providing those customers with a more environmentally-friendly option that will keep them in sync.

The rollout of the new Starbucks lids will begin in the fall, with locations in Seattle and Vancouver expected to be the first to try this new option. Meanwhile, Starbucks is not the first company to enforce a ban on plastic straws. McDonald's also recently claimed it is making a similar transition, with the switch to paper straws expected to be in place by September in both the United Kingdom and Ireland. That company hopes to be transitioned by 2019.

So, the next time you make your way to Starbucks, if you happen to notice a major change in the straw selection, you now know why that's the case.

Will Ashton

Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.