Starbucks to Phase Out Plastic Straws

July 17, 2018 Updated: July 17, 2018

NEW YORK—Starbucks recently said it will begin phasing out use of plastic straws at its restaurants by 2020.

The Seattle-based chain said it would eliminate single-use plastic straws globally at its 28,000 locations, replacing them with new recyclable strawless lids and alternative material straws.

Its announcement came just days after its hometown of Seattle barred plastic straws and utensils at restaurants, amid a broader global push to discourage the use of plastic straws and other one-time use plastics.

“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,” Starbucks chief executive Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

In June, rival McDonald’s announced plans to transition to paper straws at its U.K. and Ireland restaurants, beginning in September with completion in 2019. The McDonald’s decision does not extend to its other global restaurants, however.

Earlier this year, the fifth-largest U.S. carrier, Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, also said it would be going strawless, beginning in July.