Starbucks's strawless lids "will become the standard for all iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages" in Seattle and Vancouver this fall.
Today, July 9, Starbucks has announced plans to eliminate all single-use plastic straws globally by 2020.
Viral videos - including one depicting researchers extracting a plastic straw from a sea turtle's bleeding nostril - is prompting some companies and municipalities to find ocean-friendlier alternatives.
For users who still want their drinks with a straw, the company said paper or biodegradable plastic will be available by request. Plastic straws never completely decompose and can be harmful, even fatal, to animals that ingest them.
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The strawless lids will begin to appear in Seattle and Vancouver Starbucks this fall, with phased rollouts within the USA and Canada to follow next year.
To eliminate straws, Starbucks is transitioning from the flat, plastic lids that require them, to ones that feature a raised lip you can drink from.
A number of restaurants and private establishments also have taken measures to curb their use of plastic straws. On July 1, Seattle became the first USA city to ban plastic straws, spoons, forks and knives. Oakland and Berkeley, California, and other cities have also banned the use of disposable straws.
"For our partners and customers, this is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways", said Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer for Starbucks.
"Plastic straws that end up in our oceans have a devastating effect on species", said Erin Simon, director of sustainability research & development and material science at World Wildlife Fund, US, in a statement.