South Florida groups applaud Starbucks ditching straws

Starbucks is the largest global brand to join the crusade against the single-use plastic straw, citing environmental concerns.

The company announced Monday they are ditching the environmental hazard by 2020, instead they will promote the use of strawless lids and biodegradable straws. 

“I was so excited!” said environmentalist Chelsea Reed. 

She is lobbying Jupiter to ban the plastic straw in restaurants.

“What Starbucks did is exactly what this movement needs. It’s the beginning of a conversation that we need to have about straws and single-use plastic. I’m so glad that they can see the future of it.”

Delray Beach is also considering a similar ban. Guanabanas, a restaurant in Jupiter, is straw by request only. Fort Myers and Miami Beach have already banned them, joining about a dozen cities in the U.S. to have done so. 

The Loggerhead Marinelife Center told us recently they cleaned up 5,000 straws off of the beach in 2017. 

“We know that plastic pollution in the ocean is the number one threat to not only wildlife but, ultimately if someone eats seafood, it’s a threat to us,” said Jack Lighton, the CEO, Loggerhead Marine Life Center, in a June interview.

It’s one thing for a company to stop using them, but as the Jupiter town manager wrote to the council, enforcing a plastic straw ban would be difficult. 

The beach committee in Jupiter meets again July 23 to decide if they will recommend a plastic straw ban to the council. 

Starbucks plans on replacing plastic straws by 2020.

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