On July 9 Starbucks announced that it is phasing out plastic straws by 2020. They have already begun in some cities to use specially designed lids that eliminate the need for straws. They will roll out this design over the next two years while also offering paper straws. These alternatives, paper and other biodegradable materials for straws should be achieved more quickly if there was not a problem with supply. See: https://crookedcreek.live/2018/07/02/saving-planet-earth/
While plastic straws do not make up a big percentage of plastic that ends up in our oceans, they are a hazard to wildlife and they are unnecessary. It is a start to reducing single-use plastic items and a way to make us more conscious of the problem of plastic waste on planet earth. We can do this: https://crookedcreek.live/2018/07/02/waste/
Other companies making changes to packaging include Dunkin Donuts which is phasing out all polystyrene over the next two years. Probably the largest, MacDonalds, is committed to reducing plastic materials too and has already begun in the UK and Ireland, planning to meet its zero goal over seven years.
Some cities are outlawing plastic straws, too including Seattle and Ft. Meyers. Others are considering following suit, e.g., New York and San Francisco. This will make an immense impact.
We Can Do Better
Now if we could just get customers to stop idling cars in the drive-thru lanes and instead to park and walk inside, think of the air pollution that could be eliminated. A subject for another day perhaps.
“Our population and our use of the finite resources of planet Earth are growing exponentially along with our technical ability to change the environment for good or ill.” Stephen Hawking