Starbucks plans to stop offering plastic straws by 2020

Starbucks citing environment is ditching plastic straws

The food and beverage retailer said Monday that it would switch to a strawless lid or alternative-material straw in place of plastic straws.

For some Starbucks drinkers, the companys new strawless lid may look familiar.

Pressure has been building for businesses to shed single-use plastic straws due to the threat they pose to marine life and the health of the world's oceans.

For customers who prefer to have or need a straw, Starbucks said straws made of paper or compostable plastic will be available upon request - for their Frappuccino blended beverages.

WATCH: Plastic straw ban?

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Stores in Seattle and Vancouver will be the first to begin using the new strawless lids, which will be used for iced coffee, tea and espresso drinks beginning in the fall.

To eliminate straws, Starbucks is transitioning from the flat, plastic lids that require them, to ones that feature a raised lip you can drink from. In May, the European Union also suggested a ban on some plastic items, including straws.

"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", Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

A number of local governments have recently passed legislation restricting the use and distribution of plastic straws. As Fast Company reported, plastic straws have been banned or are planned to be banned by Alaska Airlines and McDonald's U.K., as well as in Vancouver, the U.K., Taiwan, Seattle, Miami Beach, and in California cities such as Oakland and Berkeley, to name a few.

Other cities, like Fort Meyers, have banned plastic straws as well. The Seattle-based carrier, which said it handed out 22 million stir straws and citrus picks past year, also said it would have non-plastic, marine-friendly drinking straws for travelers that request them.

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