Plastic straws have become one of the top environmental evils, and Starbucks is going to do something about it. The coffee giant made the announcement that it will slowly stop using the disposable plastic by 2020, and instead the company will use a redesigned lid.
Alexander, an engineer in Global Research & Development at Starbucks, and her team set to work drawing up plans for a strawless lid.
“We realized we had our lid after 10 weeks of experimenting,” said Alexander, who recently began a new role as a senior sourcing analyst in the Global Sourcing department.
The new design will allow Starbucks to phase out plastic straws from its more than 28,000 stores worldwide —eliminating more than 1 billion straws a year.
From their debut in one initial store, the cold-cup lids now are used for a small number of drinks including Draft Nitro and Cold Foam in more than 8,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada. They will become the standard lid for all iced drinks except Frappuccino, which will be served with a straw made from paper or PLA compostable plastic manufactured from fermented plant starch or other sustainable material. Customers who prefer or need a straw can request one made of alternative materials for use with any cold drink. Last year in Santa Cruz, Calif., Starbucks started testing out straws made from materials other than traditional plastic. It is now in the middle of testing paper straws in its U.K. stores.