Starbucks will debut new strawless lids on iced drinks in Vancouver and Seattle before rolling them out at all locations. (Starbucks)

Starbucks gets rid of plastic straws in favour of recyclable lids

Project to start in Vancouver and Seattle. All iced drinks will have the new design by 2020

If you’ve ordered a draft nitro and or cold foam iced cappuccino at Starbucks lately, you’ve probably seen a different kind of lid – and no straw.

The Seattle-based coffee giant says strawless lids are the new normal as the company works towards phasing out plastic straws by 2020.

Starbucks announced Monday the new lids will roll out first in Vancouver and Seattle, with other locations over the next two years.

“By nature, the straw isn’t recyclable and the lid is, so we feel this decision is more sustainable and more socially responsible,” said Chris Milne, director of packaging sourcing.

READ MORE: Starbucks Canada closes 1,100 stores for race, bias training

READ MORE: Starbucks launches alcohol menu in Vancouver

The new lids took 10 weeks of focused experimenting by Starbucks engineer Emily Alexander back in 2016.

“I am really excited to have developed something that can be part of this big transformation of going strawless,” Alexander said.

“It was this very small thing and now it is so much bigger and more impactful.”

The new lids will become standard on all iced drinks, except frappuccinos, which will be served with a straw made from paper or compostable plastic manufactured from fermented plant starch or other sustainable material.

“Starbucks’ decision to phase out single-use plastic straws is a shining example of the important role that companies can play in stemming the tide of ocean plastic,” said Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas program.

“With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we cannot afford to let industry sit on the sidelines.”


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