Starbucks Releases Strawless Lids in US and Canada

(Photo Credit: Starbucks)

by | Sep 10, 2020

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Starbucks Releases Strawless Lids in US and Canada

(Photo Credit: Starbucks)

Starbucks took a step forward today in the chain’s efforts to phase out plastic straws worldwide. The company is rolling out lightweight recyclable strawless lids for iced beverages sold in the United States and Canada.

Trials of strawless lids over the past year in select markets were successful, according to Starbucks. Andy Corlett, director of global packaging solutions and innovations for the company, said that his team developed and tested several prototypes.

The new strawless lid will become standard for Starbucks’ iced coffee, tea, espresso, and Refreshers line of cold drinks. Modeled after their hot drinks lid, the one for iced beverages has approximately 9% less plastic than a flat lid and straw, the company said.

“Unlike straws that cannot be recycled because of their size, the strawless lid made from polypropylene, meets the Association of Plastic Recyclers design guidelines for recyclability, and can be recycled in many markets in the US and Canada,” according to Starbucks.

However, these new lids won’t be on all cold drinks. Starbucks noted that their Frappuccino blended beverages and other drinks with whipped cream will continue to have a domed lid made from recyclable plastic and have a straw, except in places where the local law prohibits them. Straws remain available upon request in stores, the company added.

In 2018, the chain announced plans to phase plastic straws from its stores worldwide by 2020, a move expected to eliminate more than 1 billion straws from their 28,000 stores annually. Initially the company introduced a recyclable polypropylene lid with a teardrop-shaped opening for a small number of drinks, including the Draft Nitro and Cold Foam. Since then Starbucks also began testing recyclable and compostable cups in five cities worldwide with plans to deploy technologies developed by NextGen Cup Challenge winners.

Michael Kobori, chief sustainability officer at Starbucks, said the new strawless lids for iced beverages move the chain closer to their 2030 target of a 50% reduction in waste sent to landfills.

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