In the latest news in the war on straws, Starbucks announced Monday its plan to eliminate the use of straws in its network of 28,000 cafes worldwide by 2020. The news was reported by NPR, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and a host of other national news publications.

Here’s more from the official Starbucks release:

Today, Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) announced it will eliminate single-use plastic straws from its more than 28,000 company operated and licensed stores by making a strawless lid or alternative-material straw options available, around the world. Starbucks, the largest food and beverage retailer to make such a global commitment, anticipates the move will eliminate more than one billion plastic straws per year from Starbucks stores.

Starbucks has designed, developed and manufactured a strawless lid, which will become the standard for all iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages. The lid is currently available in more than 8,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada for select beverages including Starbucks Draft Nitro and Cold Foam. The lid is also being piloted for Nitro beverages in additional markets including China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. In addition, Starbucks will begin offering straws made from alternative materials – including paper or compostable plastic – for Frappuccino® blended beverages, and available by request for customers who prefer or need a straw.

“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,” said Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer for Starbucks.

Customers in Seattle and Vancouver will be the first to see the strawless lids implemented, starting this fall, with phased rollouts within the U.S. and Canada to follow.

Read the full release here via Starbucks.

Plastic waste floating in water. Richard Carey / Adobe Stock

Who will be the first third wave coffee company to remove straws from its locations? Or has Starbucks successfully ret-con’d themselves into third wave status, inherently negating this question? For now at least, expect glares at your favorite coffee bar if you say yes to an offered straw, and don’t expect the option for long.

Straws are the new smoking.


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