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Starbucks to Eliminate Plastic Straws Globally by 2020

Today, Starbucks Coffee Company announced it will eliminate single-use plastic straws from its more than 28,000 company-operated and licensed stores by making a straw-less lid or alternative-material straw options available, around the world by 2020. Starbucks, the largest food and beverage retailer to make such a global commitment, anticipates the move will eliminate more than one billion plastic straws per year from Starbucks stores.

Starbucks has designed, developed and manufactured a straw-less lid, which will become the standard for all iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages. The lid is currently available in more than 8,000 stores in the US and Canada for select beverages including Starbucks Draft Nitro and Cold Foam. The lid is also being piloted for nitro beverages in additional markets including China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. In addition, Starbucks will begin offering straws made from alternative materials – including paper or compostable plastic – for Frappuccino-blended beverages, and available by request for customers who prefer or need a straw.

“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,” says Kevin Johnson, president and CEO of Seattle, Washington-based Starbucks.

Customers in Seattle and Vancouver will be the first to see the straw-less lids implemented, starting this fall, with phased rollouts within the US and Canada to follow in FY19. A global rollout of the straw-less lid will follow, beginning in Europe where straw-less lids will arrive in select stores in France and the Netherlands, as well as in the UK just as the market expands its 5 pence paper cup charge to 950 stores, to further promote reusability.

“Plastic straws that end up in our oceans have a devastating effect on species,” says Erin Simon, director of sustainability research and development and material science at World Wildlife Fund, US. “As we partner with Starbucks in waste reduction initiatives such as NextGen Consortium Cup Challenge and WWF’s Cascading Materials Vision, we hope others will follow in their footsteps.”

“With eight million metric tonnes of plastic entering the ocean every year, we cannot afford to let industry sit on the sidelines, and we are grateful for Starbucks decision to phase out single-use plastic straws,” says Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas program.

In addition to today’s announcement, Starbucks has previously committed USD $10 million to develop and help bring to market, a fully recyclable and compostable hot cup, in partnership with Closed Loop Partners, through the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge.

As Johnson outlined in his presentation to investors at the Oppenheimer Consumer Conference in June, the company is focused on adapting to rapidly changing consumer trends with cold beverages accounting for more than 50% of Starbucks beverage mix in the US, up from 37% just five years ago. The movement to eliminate single-use plastic straws has been gaining tremendous momentum globally, with consumers showing increased concern for the greater issue of waste, of which straws is just a part. Starbucks continues to build on its history in sustainability, which includes:

• Achieving 99 percent ethically-sourced coffee;
• Trialing a 5p paper cup charge in London, which will be expanded to 950 stores in the UK later this month, to promote reusability;
• Offering a discount to any customer who brings a reusable cup or tumbler to company-owned stores around the world;
• Starbucks cups contain 10% post-consumer fiber, introduced in 2006 and a number the company expects to double by 2022;
• Building more than 1,500 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified stores in 20 markets, including all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the largest green retailer in its sector;
• Starbucks purchases Renewable Energy Certificates, currently covering 62% of its electricity usage globally, with a goal of reaching 100% globally by 2020;
• Expansion of the FoodShare program that donates unsold food to food banks around the country.

For more information, visit: www.starbucks.com.

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