Starbucks ditches the plastic straw, why haven’t you?


Announced today, Starbucks will ditch the one-time use, disposable plastic straw. Why hasn’t everyone ditched this environmentally unfriendly item?

Starbucks has joined the plastic straw revolution. In today’s announcement, the coffee giant will phase out the single-use, disposable plastic straws by 2020. The announcement shows the company’s commitment to being more environmentally responsible. But why haven’t more companies ditched the plastic?

Recently, more restaurants, food establishments and even some cities are committing to stop using plastic straws. The plastic straws are environmentally bad. They can cause damage to wildlife. The amount of plastic in the ocean is obscene. By focusing on a small, yet easily implemented change, a measurable difference can be made.

photo provided by Starbucks

Getting rid of plastic straws doesn’t mean that straws have seen their last use. In some cases, paper straws are the swap. Many drinks can’t be drunk without a straw. Who could drink a Frappuccino without a straw? Still, the plastic is the enemy, not the straw.

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When an international company is committed to this straw change, people start to take notice. Many other organizations have adopted either paper straws or no straw policies for many years. Most water parks don’t offer straws. The straw can clog pool drains and cause issues.

Many zoos and/or animal theme parks use paper straws or don’t offer straws. Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Busch Gardens only offer paper straws. That decision is a direct response to animal safety.

Even though the movement away from plastic straw use is important, it is just the tip of the plastic problem. While disposable plastic water bottles are convenient, they have a huge negative environmental impact. When can a company create a disposable, bio-degradable plastic that doesn’t have extreme negative impact?

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I applaud Starbucks and the many other restaurants and food establishments that are committed to ditching the plastic straws. Hopefully these changes are just the start. Are you ready to ditch the plastic straw?