Introducing Starbucks “Sippy Cups”: Banning Plastic Straws

Starbucks has re-invented the coffee and tea cup aesthetic in efforts to eliminate the use of plastic straws by the year 2020. According to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the U.S. A growing population doesn’t only mean more people; it also means more production of waste and plastic in the environment. Nearly eight million tons of plastic float into the ocean according to National Geographic. Plastic in the environment has also created a bigger issue by highlighting the damages related to ocean life. Endangered species, including sea turtles, commonly mistake plastic straws for food. Starbucks and several other companies like American Airlines and Royal Caribbean are advocates for the banning straws movement and are taking initiative in a global commitment to help ocean life and the ecosystem. The new, “sippy cup” design is now replacing the iconic green straws that are being banned in about 8,000 stores across the U.S., Canada, China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. In addition, the lids will also be implemented in European countries. The straw-less alternative promotes a fully recyclable and compostable cup. On the other hand, Frappuccino’s aren’t planning on being left out of the plastic straw ban for too long; the espresso milk shake will be served with paper or compostable straws until a new design is implemented. The billion-dollar franchise expects to displace more than one billion plastic straws contributing to the ecological issue.