Starbucks has announced it is eliminating plastic straws from its stores worldwide over the next two years, an environmental measure that it said will remove more than a billion plastic straws annually from its stores.
The coffee conglomerate revealed its 2020 goal on Monday while also showcasing a recyclable, strawless plastic lid for its beverages, as well as plans for a straw option made from alternative materials, such as paper or compostable plastic.
Those straws will be provided for blended Frappuccino beverages, or by special request, the company said.
“For our partners and customers, this is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement.
A spokeswoman for the company said in an email to HuffPost that consumers won’t see a cost increase because of the changes, describing it as a short-term investment that should even out or have a “net-neutral impact for our business by 2020.”
“We’ve had great feedback from customers and partners (employees) so far, and we’ll continue to take customer feedback and adjust as we move along,” she said of the lid’s design.
The strawless lid, which features a raised lip, is already available in more than 8,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada for select beverages. It will be implemented in Seattle and Vancouver beginning this fall, the company said.
Disposable plastics like straws are widely known to pollute oceans and create dangers to wildlife, which has led some parts of the world to ban their use.
In the Indian state of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is the capital, plastic packaging ― including cutlery, bags, straws and Styrofoam ― is banned. The country overall hopes to ban single-use plastic by 2022.
Seattle, where Starbucks’ headquarters is located, last week implemented a ban on plastic straws and utensils at all food service businesses, becoming the first major American city to do so.
This story has been updated with comment from a Starbucks spokeswoman.