"Sustainability is part of our DNA and has been so for 30-plus years," a Starbucks spokesperson told Boise Weekly. "... Over the last five years, our cold beverage platform has grown significantly to over 50 percent of sales, while the movement to eliminate plastic straws has also been gaining momentum globally. For these reasons, along with requests from our customers, partners and shareholders, we will develop a recyclable alternative to plastic straws: it’s the right thing for our environment, our partners (employees) and our business."
- Courtesy Starbucks
In a press release, Muttillo reacted to the Starbucks announcement, saying, “As a Starbucks employee, it's welcomed news to hear the company will phase out the use of plastic straws in their stores by 2020. This is an important first step to cleaning up our seas and protecting wildlife, and I am proud to see Starbucks take this step toward sustainability and promoting a healthier planet for all.”
To replace plastic straws, Starbucks has created a so-called "strawless lid," which looks much like the lid currently used for hot beverages, but made from clear rather than opaque plastic. The new recyclable lids are already being tested for a couple of drinks at 8,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada, and should be fully phased in by 2020. After the transition, paper or compostable straws will still be offered on request.