If you’re a Starbucks fan, but have shaken your head a bit over how much plastic you’re being handed after you order, Starbucks has made some changes that you might really like.
The coffeehouse behemoth announced that its strawless lids are now the standard for iced beverages. The new lids are also recyclable, which Starbucks said gives them an environmental advantage over traditional plastic straws.
The new lid allows customers to sip on iced drinks without the help of a single-use plastic straw, which of course why they are starting to be called “sippy cups.”
Starbucks says it is working toward preventing an estimated one billion straws a year from ending up in landfills and our oceans.
Starbucks new lids consist of polypropylene, which Starbucks describes as “a commonly accepted recyclable plastic that can be captured in recycling infrastructure.”
“Recyclable, strawless lids for customers across the U.S. and Canada is another step in our journey to reduce our environmental footprint,” said Michael Kobori, chief sustainability officer at Starbucks. “As we move closer toward our 2030 target of a 50 percent reduction in waste sent to landfills, the long-standing history of innovation within Starbucks, partnership across the industry and changing consumer behavior remain fundamental to our purpose and our prosperity as an organization.”
Some disability rights advocates are making the point that plastic straw “replacements” can be challenging for people with cerebral palsy. So, if you prefer a straw, you can still get one at Starbucks if you ask, but keep in mind not may not be the traditional single-use plastic straw that we’ve all seen for decades. Starbucks appears to also be moving toward compostable straws and other products focused on contributing less waste in our landfills.
Drinks that come with whipped cream will continue to have a domed lid made from recyclable plastic and be accompanied by a straw, except where prohibited by local law.