The iconic green plastic straw sipped by so many Americans, woke and unwoke alike, are going the way of unconscious bias at Starbucks.
After a bruising few months of brutal headlines over a series of racial bias accusations against Starbucks’ employees made by customers and activists — and echoed by both the CEO and executive chairman of the company — Starbucks has been attempting to rebrand itself as the most woke in the coffee industry. Now it will also be the most environmentally conscious.
Starbucks’ transcendent racial enlightenment was achieved by a 4-hour unconscious bias reeducation program hosted by the rapper Common. The heightened environmental consciousness will be attained by replacing the famous green plastic straw with truly green paper straws and new “strawless lids.”
The move will be completed globally by 2020, the company announced Monday, making it the largest company to embrace the growing anti-plastic straw movement. McDonald’s is also considering implementing similar plastic-eliminating steps.
Starbuck’s announcement that it will eliminate plastic straws comes just one week after progressive-led Seattle banned all plastic straws and utensils, NBC News notes. The company has already begun to offer alternatives to the plastic straw in Seattle.
So how much of an impact will a plastic straw ban have? NBC provides some of the numbers:
While plastic drinking straws have become one of the more high-profile issues environmentally, they make up only about 4 percent of the plastic trash by number of pieces, and far less by weight. Straws add up to about 2,000 tons of the nearly 9 million tons of plastic waste that ends up in the water each year.