Union City to Ban Plastic Straws

Union City is set to be the newest municipality in California set to ban plastic straws. Citing the need to reduce litter and plastic waste in waterways, the City Council passed the bill unanimously. Taking effect on Jan. 1, 2020, the law requires businesses to only hand out compostable paper straws on request.

In addition to banning plastic straws, the law requires businesses only hand out disposable foodware on request. This list includes paper napkins, single-use takeout containers, and cutlery. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we’re excited to see another city in our home state move away around plastic. 

Plastic straws are no longer welcome in Union City
union-city-plastic-straws-ban
Union City's Council passed the ban unanimously.

Implementing the Plastic Straw Ban

Union City’s plastic straw ban follows other Bay Area cities, including Palo Alto, Berkeley, Richmond, Oakland, and San Francisco. In addition to local bans, the State of California already restricts plastic drinking straws to an upon-request basis. Union City’s plastic straw ban will affect about 200 businesses, who will need to use compostable alternatives.

 

While the plastic straw ban takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020, Union City won’t begin enforcing it until July 1. Giving a 6-month grace period will allow businesses to deplete their plastic supply, and acquire paper straws. According to city staffers, Union City wants to work with violating businesses to make them compliant, rather than fining them. In the coming months, city staffers will visit each business, and discuss how to comply with the plastic straw ban. 

Quality Paper Straws For Union City

While Union City will work with businesses to switch over, not everyone is excited with the plastic straw ban. Even with more bans driving demand up, paper straws often cost more than plastic. At OkStraw, we understand cost concerns, and that’s why we offer premium paper straws at affordable prices. With factory-direct pricing for our paper straws, choosing OkStraw makes great financial sense. 

 

Although Union City businesses supported banning plastic straws, they didn’t think their customers would. City staffers cited customers unhappy with collapsed, soggy paper straws. These stories are all-too familiar with us at OkStraw, and they’re because of low quality paper straws. Unlike other inferior paper straws, OkStraw’s 3-ply paper straws last 3 hours, and our 4-plies at least 5!

 

Low quality paper straws have no place hurt the consumer experience
OkStraw Paper Bendy Straws are true alternatives to plastic.

Last Stand for Bendy Plastic Straws

Although otherwise comprehensive, Union City’s ban will still allow plastic bendy straws for people with disabilities. Disability rights advocates previously criticized plastic bans, because many people with disabilities need bendy straws to drink. Without any viable paper alternatives, plastic straws held on.

Until now, that is, because OkStraw’s Bendy Paper Straws deliver the final blow to their plastic foe. Our Bendy Paper Straws are ADA-compliant, making them a top choice for people who need them. With OkStraw ADA-compliant paper straws, Union City can both be inclusive, and be 100-percent plastic straw free.

Here's to a Plastic-Free Future

We’d like to commend Union City for taking the big leap to give plastic straws the boot. Thanks to affordable and strong paper straws from companies like OkStraw, making the switch won’t be hard. Whether you serve bubble tea, slushies, or need ADA-compliant bendy paper straws, OkStraw has you covered.

With Union City joining the party, the Bay Area looks poised to ditch plastic straws altogether. At OkStraw, we’re calling out for folks across the US to say farewell to plastic straws, and join the Cause for Paper Straws!

Madison, Wisconsin Could Be the Newest City to Restrict Plastic Straws

Madison, Wisconsin may soon be the latest city to ban or restrict plastic straws. Alderman Syed Abbas plans to introduce a bill to City Council, which would limit restaurants from handing out plastic straws. The law won’t ban plastic straws outright, but it’s a greater reason to make the switch to paper straws.

Under Ald, Abbas’s proposed law, customers in dine-in restaurants will need to specifically ask for a straw. Take-out and drive-thru restaurants will still be allowed to serve plastic straws, however. The proposed law doesn’t restrict paper straws, so restaurants will have plenty of alternatives. OkStraw is excited to see Madison making the switch to paper straws, and kicking plastic straws.

Ald. Abbas seeks mutually beneficial outcome for sustainability advocates, local businesses, and disability rights representatives.

Restaurants in other US cities are already switching to paper straws

Abbas explains that his plastic straw restriction aims to encourage people to be more cognizant about their straw use. If people don’t need a straw, then restaurants won’t simply hand them one. Once restaurants switch to paper straws, though, handing them out won’t be a problem.

Madison businesses and disability rights advocates so far support Ald. Abbas’ plan. Ald. Abbas has been working closely with people with disabilities, so they can have the straws they need. This won’t be an issue, however, thanks to OkStraw’s new ADA-compliant bendy paper straws. Our paper bendy straws are truly usable alternatives to plastic bendy straws, a huge leap forward for people with disabilities.

Madison's Plastic Straw Restriction is Part of a Truly American Fight

With more cities and states banning plastic straws, it’s time for Madison, Wisconsin to pass Ald. Abbas’ bill. This is no longer just a West and East Coast issue. Madison’s plastic straw restriction is part of a truly a American fight. With proposed bans in Minnesota and Chicago, now’s the perfect time for Madison to take the lead the Midwest battle against plastic straws. The next time you go to Madison, you might just see a paper straw served up in your glass of pop.

We at OkStraw are here to fight this fight with our biodegradable paper straws. Our inventory includes Boba Tea Paper Straws, ADA-compliant bendy paper straws, paper spoon straws, and any custom print you want. Thanks to OkStraw, Madison, Wisconsin will never want for high quality paper straws.

July Marks the 1-Year Anniversary of Seattle’s Plastic Straw Ban

This month marks the one-year anniversary of Seattle, Washington’s ban on single-use plastic straws. The ban took effect on July 1st, 2018, and was the first law of its kind implemented by a large metropolitan city in the US. Since then, more cities across the country have passed similar bans. 

Seattle’s plastic straw ban followed a 2008 ordinance that requires restaurants and food-service businesses to find biodegradable alternatives to plastic and polystyrene cups, plates, utensils, and takeout containers. With more than 5,000 businesses operating within the city limits required to make the switch from plastic to eco-friendly alternatives like paper straws, Seattle’s ban demonstrates that laws like this can work in larger cities.

Marine Pollution, Plastic Straws
Paper straws help prevent waste like this from polluting our shores

Seattle was until this month the most populated city to ban single-use plastic straws.

So far, most cities that passed plastic straw bans are smaller, such as Miami Beach, Florida and Santa Monica, California. The California cities of Los Angeles and San Diego voted to limit plastic straws from being freely handed out to customers at restaurants. These cities have not banned plastic straws outright, however, they simply limit access. Restaurants that want to hand out straws freely must use eco-friendly options like paper straws.

Seattle was until this month the most populated city in the US to ban single-use plastic straws, however it has now been surpassed by San Francisco, whose plastic straw ban took effect on July 1st. Last November, Chicago voted yes to a ballot asking whether the city should ban plastic straws. If Chicago’s City Council votes and approves a plastic straw ban, then the city of 2.7 million people will be the biggest in the country by far to implement such a law. Chicago could become America’s number one eco-friendly paper straw using metropolis.  

In the year following Seattle’s plastic straw ban, the US has seen a dramatic shift in public opinion against plastic straws.

Not only is Seattle’s 2018 single-use plastic straw ban leading the push for other cities to pass their own bans, it may even lead to the first full ban on plastic straws at the state level. Washington’s State Senator Patty Kuderer plans to introduce her bill, which will outlaw single-use plastic straws statewide by July 1st, 2020. If Olympia votes Senator Kuderer’s bill into law, then Washington will follow Oregon and California, making the entire West Coast of the United States plastic straw restrictive. “Paper Straw Belt” could soon be the new nickname for this part of the country. 

In the year following Seattle’s plastic straw ban, the US has seen a dramatic shift in public opinion against plastic straws. More cities are in the process of restricting plastic straws, including America’s three biggest cities: Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. With more states and cities passing bans and restrictions in the last few months, Seattle’s plastic straw ban has so far proven to be a successful major step in the fight against plastic waste.

Oregon Plastic Straw Ban – Oregon Passes Single-Use Plastic Straw Law

2020 Plastic Straw Ban is Here

Starting in January 2020, Oregon has banned restaurants and bars from using plastic straws. Paper Straws are an alternative.

Oregon has followed California in becoming the second US state to enact restrictions on single use plastic straws. The measure was passed by the Oregon House of Representatives on May 29th, 2019, with a winning margin of 48-12. The new law will ban restaurants from providing single-use plastic straws unless customers request one, similar to California’s law. Restaurants can still provide customers with paper strawsr.

Drive-thru restaurants and pharmacies will still be allowed to offer straws, however. Addressing reporters, Oregon governor Kate Brown voiced her support for the new ban, citing a need to raise public awareness of the effects single-use plastics have on the environment, and encourage people to make sustainable changes to their lifestyles. 

As residents of an eco-conscious destination like Oregon, we at OkStraw Paper Straws know plastic waste is an economic disaster. After all, who wants to go to an Oregon beach  or forest if it’s littered with plastic?

Paper Straws are Ecofriendly Alternative to Plastic
Oregon Governor Kate Brown
Oregon Capital Building

These new restrictions on single-use plastic straws are the start of Oregon’s fight to reduce plastic waste.

Paper straws are a far safer option for protecting marine animals
Support Sea Animals with this fun Variety Pack!

Plastic Straw Ban Measure Passed Both Houses in Oregon

On the floor of the Oregon House, lawmakers discussed a widely viewed YouTube video from 2015, which shows scientists removing a plastic straw lodged in a sea turtle’s nostril. Republican lawmakers in the House however opposed the measure, arguing that there was no evidence that proved plastic straws used by Oregon residents were harming birds and sea turtles, and that the ban would simply introduce more bureaucracy. 

Other Oregon House Republicans did not oppose the ban, however, arguing that it does not outright prohibit customers from requesting plastic straws. They also supported a clause in the legislation that prevents cities such as Portland from passing plastic straw bans that go further than the new state law. 

A number of environmentalists however did not support these two exceptions to the new plastic straw law. As a result, some groups withdrew their support for the bill. These new restrictions on single-use plastic straws are the start of Oregon’s fight to reduce plastic waste. In the weeks following the plastic straw bill, the State Senate passed a new ban on single-use plastic shopping bags, with a 5-cent fee on reusable plastic and paper bags.

 

 

Plastic straw bans can encourage people to make more sustainable adjustments to their lives

Oregon’s new partial ban on plastic straws comes at a pivotal time in the fight for sustainability. The World Economic Forum has projected that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic in Earth’s oceans than fish. 

Laws such as California’s and now Oregon’s can serve to make residents more cognizant of using any plastic item only once, and then throwing it away without thought. For businesses serving single-use foodware, paper straws, paper plates and paper takeout containers are a far more sustainable alternative to their plastic counterparts.

While they may seem small in impact at first, plastic straw bans can encourage people to make more sustainable adjustments to their lives. When more people take small steps like switching from single-use plastic straws to eco-friendly alternatives like paper straws, they can make bigger changes to their lifestyles that will lead to a healthier planet. 

At OkStraw Paper Straws, we encourage everyone to follow our lead, and ditch single-use plastics for biodegradable alternatives. We only use biodegradable, food grade materials to make our paper straws. From cocktails to bendy straws and boba bubble tea, there’s an OkStraw Paper Straw for every drink and everyone. So whether you’re out for drinks in Portland or sipping tea in Bend, ditch the plastic, and join the Cause for Paper Straws!

Chicago Voters Say “Yes” to a Single-Use Plastic Straw Ban

On November 2018, Chicago residents voted “yes” to a measure asking them whether the city should ban single-use plastic straws, passing by an 11-point margin. Following the Election Day results, 15th ward Alderman Raymond Lopez announced his plan to introduce an ordinance for the Chicago City Council to vote on the ban. Businesses are taking notice, with Illinois Restaurants Association CEO and president Sam Toia expressing his members’ lack of surprise in the results.

Chicago-based restaurants, venues, museums and colleges have already switched from plastic straws to biodegradable alternatives like bamboo and paper straws. The Chicago White Sox banned plastic straws from their stadium, Guaranteed Rate Field, becoming the first Major League Baseball team in the country to do so. California-based food service company Bon Appetit announced that it will no longer offer plastic straws in its cafes and restaurants. Bon Appetit operates sites at the Art Institute of Chicago, suburban Wheaton College, and the University of Chicago. 

If the Chicago City Council follows up on the public’s vote and passes a ban, the city will become the third of America’s three biggest cities to restrict single-use plastics. The City Council of Los Angeles recently voted to prohibit restaurants from handing out plastic straws unless requested, and the municipal government of New York City will no longer purchase single-use plastics. New York’s Mayor Bill DeBlasio has backed a bill by City Council to prohibit plastic cutlery and other non-biodegradable, single-use foodware from restaurants located in the city. Chicago is a major hub for the agricultural and restaurant industry. Among these corporations is McDonald’s, whose headquarters are located in the city. A voter-supported ban on plastic straws in Chicago could send out a strong message to the food and beverage industry that opposition to single-use plastics is gaining more ground with each day, and major changes are inevitable.

How soon Chicago’s new Mayor Lori Lightfoot pushes for a vote on a plastic straw ban remains to be seen, however a ban seems sooner than later. Chicago struggles in its battle against single-use plastic waste. The Better Government Association reported that Chicago has the worst recycling rate of any U.S. city; just 9 percent of all residential waste collected gets recycled. Chicago is located on the shore of Lake Michigan, which is already littered with unrecycled plastic waste. Unrecycled plastic waste becomes trapped in the lake, where it gets swallowed by fish, and can eventually end up in the drinking water of residents in cities like Chicago. With low recycling rates and the health of Lake Michigan at stake, Chicago has many reasons to move away from single-use plastic straws, and embrace sustainable, biodegradable alternatives. 

New Challenges to San Francisco Restaurants Serving Boba Drinks

Shops and restaurants selling boba tea in San Francisco will soon face a new challenge to their businesses from a ban on plastic straws, passed in 2018 by the Board of Supervisors. Starting on July of 2019, shops violating this new ordinance will face fines ranging from 100 to 500 dollars with each offense. In order to stay in compliance, finding an eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastic straws will be crucial for shops selling boba tea. Boba tea is a Taiwanese drink seeing an increasing popularity in US cities, and consists of a sweet tea filled with large glutinous tapioca marbles. Boba tea straws must be wide enough to allow the tapioca balls to pass through them, while also being sturdy with a sharpened tip capable of punching through a film secured over the top of the drink, which prevents spilling. The challenge for San Francisco-based shops selling boba tea is finding a biodegradable alternative to single-use plastic straws that meets all of these requirements.

San Francisco will only permit non-plastic alternatives such as bamboo, metal, or paper straws. Plant-based PLA plastic straws will be prohibited in San Francisco, as although they can be readily recycled, they are too small to be caught and sorted by the city’s PLA composting facilities. PLA plastic is also not safe for the waters surrounding San Francisco, as the cold temperatures prevent the material from biodegrading, making PLA straws just as harmful to marine animals as normal plastic straws. Reusable metal and bamboo straws are an alternative, however they are far more expensive to buy than single-use straws, and many tourists visiting San Francisco may balk at the prospect of spending as much as two dollars or more in order to enjoy their drinks. With metal and bamboo straws an expensive and likely unappealing prospect, and single-use PLA straws not being an option for boba drinks, San Francisco business will likely navigate to paper straws as single-use biodegradable alternatives. 

There are a handful of paper straw companies that offer boba straws wide enough to be used, however many of these straws do not come with sharp angled tips capable of piercing the container tops, meaning shops selling boba tea will need to spend the time and laborious effort of cutting the tips of each straw themselves. Cost will also be a concern, with most paper boba straws on the market today costing up to 19 cents a piece, adding a greater business expense to San Francisco businesses purchasing large quantities to keep up with customer demand in a competitive business market with high rent costs. As many of these local stores are family owned with far less wealth than larger franchise businesses, they may have no other option than to place the price of these biodegradable straws on their patrons. For eco-friendly straw producers, the challenge will be to offer small businesses in San Francisco with a paper straw that not only has all the capabilities they expect from a boba straw, but can also be manufactured and sold at an affordable price.

‘Mass extinction event’ that could wipe out a million species is already underway, says UN-backed report

'Mass extinction event' that could wipe out a million species is already underway, says UN-backed report

The report comes after a week-long meeting of experts from 50 countries in Paris. They  warn that a “mass extinction event” precipitated by human activities is already underway – the first such event since dinosaurs were wiped out by an asteroid 66 million years ago. Scientists say that in total, our planet has experienced five previous mass extinctions in the past half-billion years; this sixth wave would be the first caused by humans.

The report calls for urgent changes in government policies to limit environmental damage and climate change, but will also recommend that families or individuals sponsor beekeepers near their homes, for a cost of less than $100 a year. Bee populations are falling but they are essential to pollinate crops and food supplies depend on them.

Eating organic food is another way to preserve fast shrinking insect populations. The report says the reason your car windscreen is no longer covered in dead insects after a long drive is because pesticides have wiped out nearly 80 per cent of Europe’s winged insects over the past three decades. The decline has also reduced bird numbers by nearly a third, because there are no longer enough insects for them to eat. If insects disappear, vegetable and fruit crops will fail because they won’t be pollinated.

The report also renews calls to give up plastic straws. Americans alone use 500 million a day, but they end up in the sea and harm fish and marine animals.

The report also renews calls to give up plastic straws. Americans alone use 500 million a year, but they end up in the sea and harm fish and marine animals.

People can help save endangered species through adoption, it says; a chimpanzee, for example, can be sponsored for a donation to WWF of around $60 a year.

Eating less meat will also help to preserve forests, the experts say. Livestock and agriculture cause deforestation in many parts of the world because trees are cut down to make way for pasture or to grow crops. In the Amazon, some 63 per cent of deforestation stems from livestock farming. But neither should you turn to tofu — soya growing is also a major culprit in the destruction of the world’s largest rainforest.

The report warns that “half a million to a million species are projected to be threatened with extinction, many within decades.”

Robert Watson, chair of the group that drafted the report, said: “The loss of species, ecosystems and genetic diversity is already a global and generational threat to human well-being. Protecting the invaluable contributions of nature to people will be the defining challenge for decades to come.”

Species are being lost because of shrinking habitats, illegal hunting, climate change and pollution, campaigners say.

The report has been prepared over three years for a cost of more than £1.8 million by “150 leading international experts from 50 countries, balancing representation from the natural and social sciences, with additional contributions from a further 310 experts,” according to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Known officially as the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, it draws on nearly 15,000 references including scientific papers and government data.

It is backed up by an open letter urging world leaders to act immediately, signed by nearly 600 scientists, business leaders, environmentalists and public figures, including Jane Goodall, the primatologist and conservationist, and Chris Packham, the naturalist and television presenter.

Sea Of Plastic Discovered In The Caribbean Stretches Miles And Is Choking Wildlife

Paper Straws in Florida are Sweeping Beaches Clean

The ban was approved Nov. 6 by the Fort Myers Beach Town Council with an ordinance that prohibited distribution of plastic drinking straws in the town, with limited exceptions. The ordinance allows straws made of paper, plant, vegetable and other materials containing nothing artificial or synthetic.

The ordinance exempts plastic straws used in private homes, at the Beach public school or those prepackaged with drinks outside the town — like single-serve juice and milk cartons.  Some plastic straws did slip through, deliberately or not.  Jane and Jim Schroeder, of Iowa, were walking down Times Square at midday sipping drinks through plastic straws.  Jane Schoeder said she had heard of the ban but really hadn’t thought about it when she and her husband purchased their drinks.

“I thought we had to ask for them first,” she said. The couple’s bloody Mary and Bahama mama, alcoholic mixed drinks, are not allowed away from the place of purchase due to ordinance, plastic straw or not.  The couple, chagrined by their transgression, said they hoped they wouldn’t get in trouble.  Another plastic straw showed up in a large, plastic Big Gulp drink container plopped in a chair cup holder being used by Jennifer Long as she sunbathed on the beach near the Lani Kai.

Wholesale Paper Straws – Bon Appetit Management’s Move to Sustainability

Bon Appétit Management, a sustainable food-service company, is buying wholesale paper straws.  The restaurant group boasts eateries at major U.S. college campuses, museums and other institutions and is banning plastic straws, at 1,000 locations in 33 states.  With the plastic bans comes wholesale paper straws in it’s wake.  The plastic ban will be complete by September 2019. As an alternative to plastic straws, this food-service company will offer paper straws.

Plastic straws have become an issue because they can foul beaches or waterways and, in most cases, aren’t really necessary for drinking. Americans use an estimated 500 million disposable plastic straws every day, according to Eco-Cycle, a Boulder, Colo.-based non-profit recycler.  While that fact is disputed, the number of straws showing up on beach shores and water ways is not.  It’s much easier to curb plastic’s half live by simply pivoting to paper straws which deteriorate within 90 days. For this reason, many restaurant groups are buying wholesale paper straws.

McDonald’s is testing paper straws in the United Kingdom and putting plastic ones behind the counter, available only upon request. Other industries are taking now as well, including the airlines. However, shareholders of the Oak Brook, Ill. based burger chain voted against a proposal that called on the company to study the business risks of using plastic straws.   Though not everyone has made the switch, the conversation is alive and well for a larger effort industry wide to get ahead of a cultural climate that values sustainability over comfortably.

Bon Appétit, based in Palo Alto, Calif., bought 16.8 million plastic straws and close to 420,000 plastic stirrers in its fiscal year ended Aug. 31. This is seen as another eco-friendly effort by private company’s to take tangible actions in curbing their carbon footprint. Environmental friendly partnerships between food-service companies and public sectors are growing as single use plastic consumption is increasingly seen as taboo.  Pivoting towards wholesale paper straws, is a first productive step in this effort.

Bon Appétit’s CEO, Fedele Bauccio added that the new straws are made of compostable cardboard-like material that doesn’t become mushy, the common complaint about paper straws. The company, currently deciding between two suppliers, knows either version will be more expensive than plastic ones but won’t pass the cost along to customers. “We want to do the right thing for the environment,” Bauccio said. “Hopefully, this will spark other people in the industry to follow. … We are a large company and can set an example.  For this reason, they will be purchasing wholesale paper straws in the immediate future for their clients.

 

Marine Pollution – National Geographic on Plastic Straws

Little plastics and lightweight plastics, rarely end up recycling bins; the evidence of this marine pollution is clearly visible on any beach. Straws are of particular concern of late.  And although straws result in a tiny portion of ocean waste, their size makes them one of the most prolific polluters because they ensnare marine wildlife and are digested by large aquatic animals. This marine pollution is very real.

Of the eight million tons of plastic trash that pollute marine habitats, the plastic drinking straw is surely a contributor to all that tonnage. Straws are the latest on an expanding list of individual plastic items being outlawed, heavily taxed, or outright boycotted in an effort to curb plastic marine pollution before it outweighs fish, a calculation projected to occur by 2050.

As straws proliferated into wide spread marine pollution, so did anti-straw campaigns. Some non-profit groups have attention-getting names like Straw Wars, in London’s Soho neighborhood, or Straws Suck, used by the worldwide Surfrider Foundation. Other volunteer groups have been organized by pint-sized environmentalists, such as the OneLessStrawcampaign, set up by a sister-and-brother team, Olivia Ries and Carter Ries, when they were aged 7 and 8.  OKSTRAW™ is doing our part to contribute to these efforts as well to fight marine pollution.

For context, last fall, California became the first state in the nation to ban plastic bags, joining a host of nations that already do so, including Kenya, China, Bangladesh, Rwanda, and Macedonia. France not only banned plastic bags, it has become the first country to also ban plastic plates, cups, and utensils, beginning in 2020. San Francisco banned polystyrene, including Styrofoam cups and food containers, packaging peanuts, and beach toys.  Marine Pollution is a serious issue, being confronted by countries and cities world wide.

StarBucks Straw Ban – Corporate Sustainability

Starbucks Straw Ban, Sucks the Fun Out of Plastic Straws

The Starbucks straw ban is making headlines right now.  Faced with a growing backlash over its effect on the environment, Starbucks is about to stop using disposable plastic straws by 2020.  This will erase more than one billion straws a year from consumption.   Talk about a big plastic footprint – for one company!  For smaller coffee shops, OKSTRAW™ is here to help supply a paper alternative that is planet friendly and people safe. Check out our on-hand inventory here. 

Although plastic straws are made from polypropylene, a recyclable plastic, most recyclers won’t accept them. Plastic straws are pretty small and lightweight, so when they’re going through the mechanical sorter, they’re often lost or diverted.  That means plastic straws get tossed in the garbage, ending up in landfills and polluting the ocean.  Did you know it takes 200 years for polypropylene plastic straws to break down under normal environmental conditions?  Plastic straws suck the health right out of marine habitats and coastlines when not recycled.

Instead, Starbucks’s 28,000 worldwide stores will use recyclable, strawless lids on most of its iced drinks.  And while they are making concessions on most of their concessions – The Frappuccino is the one exception.  While the Starbucks straw ban will eliminate plastic straws – they will still use straws made from either paper or recyclable plastic. The plastic straw, a once ubiquitous accessory for frosty summer drinks and sugary sodas, has been falling out of favor in recent years, faced with a growing backlash over its effect on the environment.

It is difficult to know how many straws or straw particles end up in the world’s waterways and oceans, but plastic straws are one of the most common items found on beaches, according to the Ocean Conservancy, whose volunteers have picked up more than 9 million straws and stirrers from beaches and waterways. The Starbuck’s straw ban aims to curb this plastic consumption.