- Erin S.
Starbucks: Straws vs. New Caps
Updated: Aug 7, 2021
Most people start their day with a cup of coffee. For those who don't enjoy the taste, other caffeinated beverages are a tastier option. That's where Starbucks comes in. Offering an assortment of different flavors and variations, Starbucks is one of the most popular drink chains around. However, the drinks come with straws and lids. It is estimated that Starbucks customers use 1 billion straws a year! Starbucks has two different sized straws: one that's around 0.818 grams, and another that's around 1.195 grams. That would mean there are 1006.5 metric tons of plastic straws in the landfill from Starbucks ALONE.
Now, some of today's straws are made from polypropylene, a type of plastic. This material is known as a highly recyclable plastic. However, recycling companies generally don't accept straws because generally are a different form of polypropylene. Straws, if thrown in the landfill, will not be able to biodegrade. It will, along with millions of other plastic items, flow into our oceans. Starbucks straws generate around one hundred metric tons of non-biodegradable plastic straws, which is causing harm to animals and the air around us. Therefore, it would be best to not use them, or to use reusable ones.
Recently, Starbucks has come up with a new lid for their cups. Starbucks claimed that these lids are sustainable, recyclable, and can be used to drink from. Now the new lids are also made from polypropylene. However, this type of polypropylene is actually recyclable. Not only that, but the lids are also heavier. The larger lid weighs roughly 2.7 grams and the smaller lid weighs 2.6 grams.
Overall, the new lids are much heavier than the straw and cap combo. This means that more polypropylene and plastic are being used. This is not extremely eco-friendly, although it is recyclable. Even though it is recyclable, not everyone actually recycles their lids, causing the same problems that the straw and lid combo did. In order to maintain a healthy environment, it would be beneficial if people would put their garbage in the correct bins. Recycle for a great future for the world!
Sources: Starbucks, Support the Guardian, Earth 911, The Intercept, Starbucks