Starbucks Straw Ban, Sucks the Fun Out of Plastic Straws
The Starbucks straw ban is making headlines right now. Faced with a growing backlash over its effect on the environment, Starbucks is about to stop using disposable plastic straws by 2020. This will erase more than one billion straws a year from consumption. Talk about a big plastic footprint – for one company! For smaller coffee shops, OKSTRAW™ is here to help supply a paper alternative that is planet friendly and people safe. Check out our on-hand inventory here.
Although plastic straws are made from polypropylene, a recyclable plastic, most recyclers won’t accept them. Plastic straws are pretty small and lightweight, so when they’re going through the mechanical sorter, they’re often lost or diverted. That means plastic straws get tossed in the garbage, ending up in landfills and polluting the ocean. Did you know it takes 200 years for polypropylene plastic straws to break down under normal environmental conditions? Plastic straws suck the health right out of marine habitats and coastlines when not recycled.
Instead, Starbucks’s 28,000 worldwide stores will use recyclable, strawless lids on most of its iced drinks. And while they are making concessions on most of their concessions – The Frappuccino is the one exception. While the Starbucks straw ban will eliminate plastic straws – they will still use straws made from either paper or recyclable plastic. The plastic straw, a once ubiquitous accessory for frosty summer drinks and sugary sodas, has been falling out of favor in recent years, faced with a growing backlash over its effect on the environment.
It is difficult to know how many straws or straw particles end up in the world’s waterways and oceans, but plastic straws are one of the most common items found on beaches, according to the Ocean Conservancy, whose volunteers have picked up more than 9 million straws and stirrers from beaches and waterways. The Starbuck’s straw ban aims to curb this plastic consumption.