Starbucks: Straws Suck

Josie Morss, Editor-in-Chief

Starbucks, the friendly neighborhood coffee creator, made the decision to dive into the controversial world of environmentalism. The drastic change focuses around the infamous green plastic straw in attempts to discover compostable as well as reusable alternatives to rid the world’s plastic parade.

Environmentalism rose once again to forefront the public’s minds when a wounded sea turtle screeched in pain off the sandy shores of sunny Costa Rica in 2015. Marine biologists examined what seemed at first to be a parasite trapped deep inside the reptile’s nose. Instead of extracting a sea crawling parasite, they yanked out a browned plastic straw. Images of the turtle became a viral sensation. Movements budded, blossomed and grew into acts of the greater good while being clothed with their own clever campaign name and plan of attack to face the ever-growing plastic problem. Movements like “Be Straw Free,” “The Last Plastic Straw” and many other campaigns stationed around the world attempt to better the fragile environment with their careful concern for the negative impact of plastic straws.

This July, Starbucks publicly launched its plan to remove plastic straws from their brand. Alternatively, installments of multi-use straws made from bamboo, paper or recyclable material and plastic lids with an accessible raised lip. The lids will lessen the buildup of popular pollutants. Conveniently recyclable lids, keep oceans clean, environments stable and hand-made waste heavily reduced. However,  shiny new plastic lids are processed with more plastic than straws.

The recyclable component strengthens the environment by not getting lost in the mechanical sorter of recyclables. The banning of straws, an “unnecessary item we’ve gotten accustomed to,” according to Aardvark sales representative Kara Woodring, is said to be completed by 2020. The no-straw movement will be implemented throughout 28,000 Starbucks stores nationwide.

It is not uncommon to see a typical restaurant to serve its cold drinks paired with straws. Now, straws are becoming old news. Various select restaurants in Washington, the birthplace of Starbucks, are becoming more environmentally friendly. Straws that once came with cold drinks now only come out of hiding when a customer asks. Starbucks is again stepping up its environmental mastery by giving a $0.10  discount to customers who bring in their own mug, which paves the way for their no-straws-please campaign.