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Many people and companies are concerned about the effect of plastic straws on the environment. Although they have come up with a number of alternatives, none of them are quite the same as plastic. Perhaps Starbucks has the right idea, however, as they are bringing something new to their locations.

According to a media release from the company, the endeavor got its start on September 10. That is when Starbucks started to offer their iced beverages in cups that included recyclable, lightweight, strawless lids.

It may be possible that you have seen these before, as they have been testing the lids at different locations in North America for the past year. Starbucks has a goal of eliminating 1 billion plastic straws per year, and this is a step in that direction. The chief sustainability officer at Starbucks, Michael Kobori, said that Starbucks is planning on a 50% reduction in waste sent to the landfills by 2030.

The new lid for iced beverages is similar to what Starbucks has used for hot drinks. The difference is, there is approximately 9% less plastic in these lids, compared to the previous lids and straws you would have received with iced drinks.

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My #firstimpressions of the new #starbucks lids for #icedcoffee and other #coldbeverages is that IF it is going to help the planet then I will suffer the chilly ice on my teeth and the greater likelihood of spillage in my car. BUT the lids are super thick, so how much less plastic is this new system going to generate? Huh, @starbucks? #starbuckslids #newlids

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Most cold beverages from Starbucks will include these lids. Any drinks that are topped with whipped cream will still use the dome-shaped plastic lid and straws will be available upon request.

Another option is for customers to bring reusable straws of their own.

The tests for the lids started in 2019. Andy Corlett is the Starbucks packaging engineer and he said that plastic waste would be significantly reduced as a result of using these lids.

“It sounds dramatic, but this lid is going to get used about a billion times a year,” Corlett said in a company media release. “It’s going to take billions of single-use plastic straws off the market. It still hasn’t necessarily hit me.”