8:11 PM I sip my coffee with my metal straw while writing this article here.... This is actually "old news" (published 4 weeks ago), but I finally find the time to sit down and talk about it. When I heard about this, I wasn't sure if I should write a post about it.... yeah, should I? Jaaa?

I waited a little bit and watched the world react. 
Starbucks announced that they will replace their plastic straws until 2020. 
Wow! 

Fantastic news. Yes, yes, yes!
Okay, I need to write about this. I feel so happy - it has to be shared! 
Oh boy, I remember how many emails I wrote to Starbucks and other coffee houses... this is actually a great success and I believe I should talk about this here. So, here I am. 

As I mentioned, I watched the scene and read many reactions to this. While I celebrated on a quiet note in my four walls, I see people getting angry and frustrated over this "issue". 

Okay, so where do we start? 
Let's focus on the good news first - I am not saying that I support Starbuck's decision or product design to the fullest, but, I respect their awakening process and the action they take to at least START fighting against plastic pollution where the company is actually highly involved. 

The Seattle based company shared the news in July, saying that Starbucks will phase out plastic straws from its more than 28,000 stores worldwide by 2020, a decision that will eliminate more than 1 billion straws a year. Instead of straws, the coffee house will come along with a newly designed lid, developed by Emily Alexander. 

These are recyclable and strawless lids which are standard on most iced drinks. The Frappuccino will be served with a straw that is made from paper or PLA compostable plastic from fermented plant startch. If customers want to use a straw, they can surely request one, but they'll get an alternative to the plastic. 


The company is already testing the usage of paper straws or alternative materials in different stores around the globe, but I haven't found any articles or feedback on this yet! Fact is that Starbucks finally realized the urge to act. Replacing a tiny thing like straws can help so much already! 

Now looking at the press images - I get why everyone is complaining. The company changed from plastic straws to plastic lids - some call it a shame, others feel discriminated, and the rest is just confused. Starbucks explains that the plastic which is used for the new lids is widely recycled. The new lids are more sustainable and more socially responsible...
Also, this is only the beginning. 

By investing $10 million in the NextGen Cup Challenge, Starbucks seeks to develop a fully recyclable and compostable hot cup. For a matter of time now, they also engaged their customers to bring their own tumblers which makes the customer actually safe 30-50 cents. Alternatively, one can also get Starbucks' reusable cup which has been sold over 18 million times. 
What I really like is that the U.K. stores charge a 5p paper cup charge to actually motivate their customers to bring their own cup! Thank you, London. ~

While people still write hate mails to Starbucks or first reasonable critics come along such as the need of a plastic straw for disabled people, the company also states that Alexander, the designer of the new plastic lid, is still finding ways to improve the lid! 


The potential is there and I believe that everyone needs to chill right now! 
I understand the confusion, I understand that there are people out there with different needs, but I also want you to give companies like Starbucks props to leading by example. 
It must be hard hearing critics from every side and "being annoyed" by crazy ocean activists like me, haha. But the company does care and designs lids that can hopefully change our future. We need more companies to act now and it's for sure that we can't revolutionize the plastic straw industry in a week - but we need to start elimnating this issue now. 

This first tiny step is the biggest the companies have to take. 

Writing about this topic is neccessary. I want to spread those positive news and I want to celebrate that 2018 is such a sexy year for sustainability. 
I highly appreciate and celebrate the city Seattle, for being the first major US city to ban plastic straws! Stop sucking makes so much sense and I hope that many other cities will follow this example now more and more!

Early in July, the Walt Disney Co. announced that it would establish a ban on single-use plastic straws and stirrers by mid-2019. Okay, cool! What about the other delicious coffee houses? My favorite donut heaven.... Dunkin Donuts' spokeswoman Lindsay Cronin said the company is committed to making improvements to their packaging that make sense for the planet and their customers. The company plans to eliminate foam cups from all DD restaurants by 2020. 

I am enhancing this 700 times. Someone needs to lead by example. 
More and more companies study on new strategies... this by human created disaster can actually bring along beautiful designs and saving methods by the same bad boys - us. We got so much power and we need to apply it to the right niches and emergencies! 

Guess what? There are more places which have to take care of plastic straws and a general offer of plastic things. 

You can do a lot. 
Write your favorite companies, restaurants, your mayor, the government. If you plan on eating or drinking outside of the house, choose wisely - say no to plastic! Bring your own stuff ~ 

If you are interested in reading some news about other companies, check these readings out! It's Tuesday Talk - time to educate yourself! 


Forbes article: Is Banning Plastic Straws A Good Strategy For Companies?
NYTimes article: Bans on Plastic Straws Are Growing. But Is the Travel Industry Doing Enough?
U0SA Today article: McDonald's is being sucked into the movement to ban plastic straws
Food & Wine article: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Movement to Ban Plastic Straws
Independent UK article: How McDonald's, Burger King, and Subway have responded to the EU’s plastic clampdown
& for my dear NYCers - a very interesting NYC case via The NYTimes: The Plastic Straw Is Losing Status as New York’s Big Sipper


images via Starbucks