Starbucks announces plan to eliminate plastic straws by 2020

Starbucks unveils environment-friendly lid for cold drinks which puts straws on shelf

The strawless lid, which features a raised lip, is already available in more than 8,000 stores in the US and Canada for select beverages.

Starbucks (sbux) will replace plastic straws with recyclable strawless lids, which it will serve with all of its iced coffee, tea, and espresso drinks.

Starbucks said the conversion will be complete by 2020. It will be implemented in Seattle and Vancouver beginning this fall, the company said.

The effort to reduce waste is part of a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund's Cascading Materials Vision program, the statement said.

The coffee retailer will also begin offering straws made from alternative materials - including paper or compostable plastic - for Frappuccino beverages.

Other communities across the country, including Sanibel Island, located in Florida, are also on the list of places considering a ban on these plastic products. In March, for example, the company announced a $10 million challenge to design a disposable coffee cup that is compostable.

Starbucks uses more than a billion plastic straws a year.

WATCH: Plastic straw ban?

The company's announcement comes a week after it's hometown, Seattle, banned single-use plastic straws and utensils at businesses that sell food or drinks in the city.

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. The Seattle-based carrier, which said it handed out 22 million stir straws and citrus picks past year, also said it would have non-plastic, marine-friendly drinking straws for travelers that request them.

"With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we can not afford to let industry sit on the sidelines", said Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy's Trash Free Seas program in a statement.

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