The ban will eventually be global at all of its 28,000 stores. Plastic straws have become a flashpoint.
Last week, Seattle became the country's first major city to ban single use plastic straws. Starbucks's hometown of Seattle, for example, banned plastic straws and utensils beginning this month, while the California cities of Davis and San Luis Obispo prohibit restaurants from handing out plastic straws unless a customer requests one.
Starbucks (sbux) will replace plastic straws with recyclable strawless lids, which it will serve with all of its iced coffee, tea, and espresso drinks. Similar proposals are being considered in places like NY and San Francisco.
The strawless lids will begin to appear in Seattle and Vancouver Starbucks this fall, with phased rollouts within the U.S. and Canada to follow next year.
The company is the latest to announce a ban on the straws as global awareness of ocean pollution and harm to marine life increases.
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The issue is coming up in company boardrooms, though Starbucks is taking the lead.
The announcement from McDonald's followed an April proposal by the United Kingdom government to ban plastic straws in the country.
Frappuccino drinks will still be served with dome lids, but with straws made from paper or compostable plastic. The burger chain said this year that it would use only recycled or other environmentally friendly materials for its soda cups, Happy Meal boxes and other packaging by 2025. They essentially look like sippy cup lids - regular plastic lids with a raised and slanted mouthpiece for customers to drink from.
The UK government said that 1 million birds and more than 100,000 sea mammals die each year from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste.