Starbucks is eliminating plastic straws from all stores

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Starbucks says it will become the largest food and beverage retailer to commit to eliminating plastic straws, a change it says it will complete by 2020.

The strawless lid has already been in use at numerous company's stores for certain kinds of cold drinks like cold foam and "draft nitro", the coffee drink that comes out of a keg, mixed with nitrogen.

Starbucks, which doles out more than 1 billion straws a year, says it will phase out single-use plastic straws from its stores by 2020.

Vancouver will be the first Canadian city to have the new lids, starting in the fall of this year. Seattle is believed to be the first major USA city to ban single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service, according to the Seattle Public Utilities. In May, the European Union also suggested a ban on some plastic items, including straws. Seattle's ban on plastic straws and utensils went into effect last week.

A number of restaurants and private establishments also have taken measures to curb their use of plastic straws.

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

The company said in a release that paper or compostable straws will be available for customers upon request, and will be served with their Frappuccino blended drinks. And it's a part of Starbucks' $10 million investment in creating recyclable and compostable cups around the world.

Local government officials across the country are considering banning plastic straws, and some Charlottesville businesses have gotten a head start.

In a statement, CEO Kevin Johnson called the move away from plastic straws a "significant milestone" in the company's sustainability efforts.

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