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Plastic Straw Ban: Starbucks Steps Up

Posted on July 16, 2018 by Matt Tomasino There have been 0 comments

The latest statistic of plastic straw use in America is 500 million straws per day. That number could fill 127 school buses each day or 46,400 school buses per year. Some feel this estimate is too high while others report that it is too low. However way you cut it, one plastic straw is one too many.

Some may remember a viral video of marine biologists removing a straw from the painful, bloody nostril of a sea turtle who would probably have died like so many others. There are also the piles of straws on the side of roads, along shorelines and even preserved in the piles of garbage left on Mount Everest.

Now, as a response to the outcry of the rising environmental impact, the Starbucks chain of 28,000 stores recently announced it will ban all plastic straws by 2020. Instead, they will roll out straw-less lids, a kind of sippy cup technology for adults.

This is a major move by a major corporation which will hopefully set the stage for a complete ban of plastic straws altogether, another step toward less plastic and more sustainability.

Wallet Activism

The announcement by Starbucks came one week after Seattle, the hometown of this global conglomerate, banned plastic drinking straws, cutlery and utensils. It is a move that rings loud and many are supporting this enormous step with “wallet activism”.

As more people realize the impact of plastic pollution, the more people are fed up with living in it. This response is what environmentalists have been waiting for through decades of denial. Now that people see, in real time, the devastating effects on oceans, wildlife and so much more, wallet activism works. Many consumers do not want their money going to the decimation of nature, so they are making it clear they won’t purchase items or services that contribute to such. More companies are answering this response and Starbucks is one that leads the way.

Following Suit

Reactions from other corporations came in quickly after the Starbucks announcement. Some of them include:

  • Burger King issued a statement that it would replace all plastic straws in its UK stores with biodegradable straws by September.
  • Alaska Airlines which reported using 22 billion plastic coffee stirrers and citrus picks last year is considering a more Eco-friendly alternative.
  • Bon Appetit Management Company, a foodservice management company that services colleges, corporations and cultural institutions announced it would stop using plastic straws and replace them with straws made from paper, bamboo and hay.
  • McDonalds surprisingly commented that the issue of plastic straws was a concern but they haven’t found a viable alternative that can match the enormous scale needed to supply its 35,000 stores.

It may not be too long before McDonalds, and others that feel the same way, will be able to crossover to a non-plastic world. As demand rises, Eco-friendly innovation will answer.

Acceptable Replacements

The technology of Eco-friendly plastics has dramatically improved. Using plant-based materials such as bagasse (sugar cane) bamboo, leaves, grasses, and so much more, companies have been able to produce many compostable products and biodegradable designs that work hand-in-hand with human and nature.

As corporations like Starbucks, and others announce a willingness to crossover, acceptable replacements need to be developed. Yet, many alternative product companies are still on a consumer based level, but industrial support is just around the corner. When this occurs, many environmentalists believe there will be a major shift in global pollution as well as benefits to the global warming crisis.

 

Support corporations that step up, but don’t let them off the hook so easy. It should be noted that, while Starbucks eliminates the straw by using a sipping cup design, the cup is still a plastic cup. Let companies know that you support such Eco-friendly changes and keep demanding more.


This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Green Living, Health and Safety, Politically Green, Your Green Business and was tagged with COMPOSTABLE, plastic straws, RECYCLED-UPCYCLED, Starbucks, SUSTAINABLE

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