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The last straw for Starbucks?

Starbucks has brought a eco-friendly alternative to the table. Instead of using straws, they remodeled their lids so that you can drink out of them without the use of a straw.

They claim that by the year 2020, the company will be officially straw-free. If they are successful in doing this go green initiative, they say it will get rid of more than 1 billion straws per year.

“To make a difference it requires a lot of small steps and this is one of them,” says computer science major Jeff Jimenez.

The Starbucks at Scranton commons uses approximately 300-400 straws a day, says student employee Kayla Williams. This is an estimated 2,800 straws per week, and 42,000 straws a semester.

This would come out to around 7 miles of straws total.   This is equivalent to the distance between Bloomsburg University and Orangeville.

When asked if banning straws is an overreaction, social work major Tom Herman says,“ No, it is only the first step that they need to take in order to reduce plastic waste”. Williams says, “I don’t think it is going to make a difference”, when asked if losing straws all together will make any sort of impact.

Starbucks remodeled the lid to resemble an adult sippy cup. This new lid is available at more than 8,000 stores in Canada and the US.

Creating this new lid was Starbucks plan to reduce straw use, but “they are making you ask for it, so most people get straws anyway,” says Kate Hedges, a sophomore at Bloomsburg University.

On top of the new model of the lid, they also will offer straws made from different materials instead of plastic. Some customers prefer to use straws, so to accommodate this they will offer straws made from paper or compost-able plastic.

“Starbucks’ decision to phase out single-use plastic straws is a shining example of the important role that companies can play in stemming the tide of ocean plastic”, said Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy Trash Free Seas program.

As of Sept. 20, 2018 California became the first state to ban restaurants from automatically giving out plastic straws according to CNN.

The law states that only if customers ask for a straw will they be given them. Governor of California Jerry Brown makes this comment regarding the new law. “Plastics in all forms — straws, bottles, packaging, bags, etc — are choking our planet.”

This is just the beginning in reducing the plastic in our society. Starbucks plan has influenced various other companies in creating positive environmental changes.

Other companies that have followed in their footsteps are Hilton, American Airlines and Marriott.

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