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Starbucks Is Replacing Plastic Straws With Sippy Cups In 2020

Starbucks announced Monday that it plans to completely replace its plastic straws across the globe with “alternative-material straws” and their strawless lids, AKA the sippy cup lids.

Starbucks said that by making this change at its 28,000-plus worldwide locations, they will completely do away with over 1 billion plastic straws per year.

“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,” Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer for Starbucks said.

Starbucks introduced the sippy cup concept with its Nitro Cold Brew drinks back in 2017, and were available for any cold drinks upon request. Now, Starbucks plans to make these lids the new norm for all of its iced coffees, teas, and espresso-based drinks.

Starbucks is already familiarizing itself with compostable straws in Seattle, as plastic straws were just banned in the city, leading all food establishments to find straw alternatives.

Vancouver stores will also make the change as soon as this fall.

Plastic straws will gradually be phased out in the U.S. and Canada throughout 2019, Europe will shortly follow suit, before a completely global rollout.

It’s also good to note that McDonald’s U.K. replaced all of its plastic straws this year, and replaced them with paper straws.

Starbucks basically looked at McDonald’s efforts and took it to a global scale.

If you’re wondering why the big change is occurring, Starbucks’ Erin Simon, director of sustainability research & development and material science at World Wildlife Fund, explained that it “represents the company’s forward thinking in tackling the material waste challenge in totality,” and that, “plastic straws that end up in our oceans have a devastating effect on species.”

If there were ever a a sign that plastic straws will soon disappear in the food industry, this would be it.

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Starbucks Now Has Sippy Cups, And You Might Never Need A Plastic Straw Again

I don’t often order Nitro Cold Brews from Starbucks, and regulars are probably now used to this sippy cup lid that was introduced back in 2017, but it tripped me the hell out.

Instead of the standard lid that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from Starbucks cold drinks, the Nitro Cold Brews come with a lid that has a hole on the top edge, similar to a wide-mouth can of Mountain Dew.

I asked the barista what was up with the sippy cup, and she explained to me that it is primarily for customers to enjoy the foam that tops their Nitro drinks, such as the new Cold Foam Cascara Nitro I had ordered that day.

Then she hit me with a curveball, saying I can actually ask for the sippy cup on any of my cold drinks, and to not be surprised to see it be the new norm, as restaurant industries are always looking for ways to phase out plastic straws.

The usage of plastic drinking straws seem to be a big deal at the moment, and I learned this firsthand after posting an Instagram photo of a split cup boba adorned with not one, but two straws in it. Six of my friends promptly scolded me for the unnecessary straw usage, and reminded me that I was destroying the earth.

Probably the biggest sign that restaurants are leaning toward phasing out plastic straws, is the fact that ALL McDonald’s in the UK will be replacing its plastic straws with paper ones.

Yup, the Golden Arches made a huge statement, affecting over 1,300 stores in the European nation. That means the new norm for anyone living in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, will be paper straws.

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Hell, just this morning, Alaska Airlines announced it will be eliminating its plastic stirring sticks and drinking straws, replacing them with compostable versions.

It’s obviously not something we think of when we’re sipping on our cup of Coke, but in the U.S., we use about 500 million straws a day.

The next thing that comes to mind after hearing that stat, is the middle school recycling slide show, with the poor seagull getting its head stuck in an old school six-pack holder, or the turtle with the straw stuck in its bloodied nostril.

These sippy cup lids will be an interesting case study for Starbucks, though, as they add the value of a specific mouth-feel, similar to the one you get when sipping on your hot drink, beyond the positive environmental impact they’re trying to make.

Hell, I now ask for the sippy cup on my non-Nitro, Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew. It makes me feel fancy AF, and now I don’t have to worry about friends yelling at me about straws.

Whether we like it or not, it looks like a change is coming. We might as well get used to losing our plastic straws, just like we had to get used to losing our plastic grocery bags. If it means one less cute ass sea otter chokes on my waste, it’s worth it.


Mother Gets Arrested for Pouring Beer Into Two-Year-Old Son’s Sippy Cup

Competing for first place as worst mom of 2012 against the lady who got in a car accident, left her kids in the car to eat ice cream in the nude, 36-year-old Valerie Marie Topete was arrested for pouring beer into her two-year-old son’s sippy cup at a local Phoenix pizzeria Tuesday of last week.

A witness at the scene called 911 when she saw the child fall out of his high chair, scared that he was intoxicated.

According to Phoenix police, Topete did what any logical human being would do when a toddler is reaching for a pitcher of beer – let him keep reaching and tell him beer is for adults pour the kid a cold cup of brew.

The Daily News reports that Topete supposedly poured just a “splash of beer” and mixed it with her son’s apple juice, hoping that reverse psychology would deter him from the taste of alcohol.

The officers confirmed the beer content inside the cup and have arrested Topete on suspicion of child abuse.

Topete’s son was later released to his father after a precautionary visit to the hospital, where he is fortunately being spoon-fed some cough syrup and given cigarettes in moderation*.

[Source: Associated Press via Gawker / Photo Credit: Daily News]
*Not confirmed