In early July 2018, Starbucks announced they will stop using the single-use plastic straws from all of their stores by 2020. They are releasing lids that do not require straws in  replacement. There will also be alternative-material straws available upon request. These lids are not anything new for the company, as they already have strawless lids for their “Nitro” coffee drinks. The lids will now be used for their cold drinks which make up 50% of Starbuck’s beverage mix. Starbucks has estimated that this move will eliminate more than one billion plastic straws a year. However, some question if this is really an improvement for the environment as a whole. The "Nitro" lids are made out of a thicker plastic that  has raised some concern to some consumers whether or not this will have any difference on the environment. Starbucks stress these lids are made from polypropylene which is a more accepted recyclable plastic when compared to  straws that are too small and lightweight to be captured in modern recycling  equipment. Just because these new lids are more recycler-friendly this does  not mean that they will be recycled. At the beginning of 2018, China enforced  a ban on most plastic recyclables. States such as Oregon, relied heavily on  exporting the recyclables to the nation, and now, they send most of their recyclables to the landfill until another solution arises. It is difficult to estimate how much eliminating plastic straws will help the environment in the long term. The mainstream introduction of the "Nitro" lids may ease the public into change towards no straws. Starbucks, along with other fast food chains, have partnered together in developing a recyclable and/or compostable cups in hopes to find a solution to reducing waste.

The Guardian