Starbucks customers use more than one billion straws per year. In the announcement, it said that it will use recyclable strawless lids and a straw made out of an alternative-material in its more than 28,000 stores around the world.
Of course, Starbucks isn't alone in its quest to clean up its reputation by cleaning up the environment.
To replace the straws, Starbucks also debuted images of its new strawless lids, which will begin to appear in Seattle and Vancouver locations this fall, with phased rollouts within the US and Canada to follow next year. Stores outside of the US will then see the new lids, starting with Europe. Starbucks said it has committed more than $10 million to this initiative so far.
Plastic straws contribute to ocean pollution and pose a danger to marine life. Here's hoping that other major coffee retailers and cafes also take a leaf out of Starbucks' book and make the transition from plastic packaging to more recyclable material.
"Starbucks is taking a step in the right direction by eliminating fossil fuel derived plastic straws, and is starting to further encourage the use of refillable containers with its new United Kingdom charges on paper cups".
Craven also said she's starting to see more awareness about the need for exemptions for straws that bend, which people with disabilities and others may need.
By the fall, all cold coffee beverages in Seattle and Vancouver will be served with the same strawless lid now offered for the cold brew drinks.
These straw-free cups will be slowly interdouced to stores throughout the year with no mention yet as to when we can expect them here in Ireland.
"With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we can not afford to let industry sit on the sidelines", he added.
Alternatives to plastic straws have also been on the rise-think straws made of paper, bamboo, glass and metal.
As for the "strawless lids", Starbucks is already using them in about 8,000 select stores around North America. Hospitals were among the first to use plastic straws because they allowed patients to easily drink while in bed, according to a report by National Geographic.