Environment America and U.S. PIRG praise Starbucks’ decision to ditch plastic straws

Media Contacts
Alex Truelove

Environment America

Today, coffee giant Starbucks announced that it would eliminate single-use plastic straws from all of its locations globally by 2020. In a Tweet, the company said the move would eliminate more than one billion plastic straws per year from its stores.

“Nothing we use for five minutes should be able to pollute our waterways for centuries,” said Steve Blackledge, senior conservation director for Environment America. “Starbucks’ commitment is a big step forward in the Wildlife Over Waste movement.”

Environment America’s launched its Wildlife Over Waste campaign in late May, with the goal of getting states and local governments to ban polystyrene — or styrofoam — containers as well as other single-use plastics.

“We’ve known for decades that plastic pollution is harming our wildlife,” Blackledge continued. “And we’ve all been reminded of this recently — whether seeing horrifying video of a turtle with a plastic straw lodged in its nostril, or the images of several dozen plastic bags being removed from the bellies of whales. Kudos to Starbucks for taking this action.”

Alex Truelove, U.S. PIRG’s Zero Waste campaign director, added, “Starbucks understands that the millions of plastic straws Americans throw out every day are harmful and wasteful. Eliminating plastic straws is a step in the right direction, and it’s good for public health. It also sets a positive precedent that other food and beverage companies should follow.”

“Moving forward, we hope that Starbucks continues to look for ways to reduce waste, like eliminating more single-use plastic items and encouraging customers to bring reusable cups,” said Truelove.