Starbucks is doing the right thing and getting rid of plastic straws.
The company announced Monday that by 2020, every single plastic straw will be phased out of use at Starbucks stores around the globe. The effort, which starts this fall in Seattle and Vancouver and spreads from there, is expected to keep 1 billion Starbucks-green straws out of the Earth's garbage dumps and oceans each year.
To replace straws, Starbucks will serve cold drinks in cups with special lids—dubbed "adult sippy cups" by the Internet—which it introduced back in 2016. These lids can be recycled, unlike the straws. And for all those Starbucks addicts who still demand a straw to suck down their icy frapps, baristas will have paper and compostable plastic straws on hand. (Compostable plastic straws, however, are not marine biodegradable.)
Getting rid of plastic straws will not save our oceans, environmentalists warn. But it will cut down on plastic pollution that kills marine life, and trash waste in general. Even more importantly, it's one of the easiest uses of plastic for us to give up, and once we do, we might want to rid more plastic from our lives. Call it a "gateway plastic."
In other environmentally friendly news, Starbucks' hometown Seattle just kicked off a city-wide ban on plastic straws, making it the first major U.S. city to do so. If this trend spreads (and hopefully, it will), we'll be drinking our iced coffees and diet pop with a little less guilt.
Esquire got in touch with Starbucks Philippines regarding this pro-environment initiative. The local franchise has been using the special strawless lids for their cold foam and nitro beverages. They also take P5 off the drinks price for customers who bring their own cups.
A Starbucks rep told Esquire: "In the Philippines, we are giving customers the option to skip the plastic straws/disposable utensils for their orders. Compostable straws are available by request for customers who prefer or need a straw. This is one more step in demonstrating how our commitment and scale can make a big impact in communities around the world."
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com, and has been updated by the editors of Esquire Philippines.