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Starbucks Bans Plastic Straws, Winds Up Using More Plastic

A Reason investigation reveals that the coffee giant's new cold drink lids use more plastic than the old straw/lid combo.

Mario Anzuoni/REUTERS/NewscomMario Anzuoni/REUTERS/Newscom2018 will forever be remembered as the year that hating plastic straws went mainstream. Once the lonely cause of environmental cranks, now everyone wants to eliminate these suckers from daily life.

In July, Seattle imposed America's first ban on plastic straws. Vancouver, British Columbia, passed a similar ban a few months earlier. There are active attempts to prohibit straws in New York City, Washington, D.C., Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco. A-list celebrities from Calvin Harris to Tom Brady have lectured us on giving up straws. Both National Geographic and The Atlantic have run long profiles on the history and environmental effects of the straw. Vice is now treating their consumption as a dirty, hedonistic excess.

Not to be outdone by busybody legislators, Starbucks, the nation's largest food and drink retailer, announced on Monday that it would be going strawless.

"This is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways," said Starbucks Kevin Johnson CEO in a press release announcing the move.

The coffee giant says that by 2020 it hopes to have eliminated all single-use plastic straws at its 28,000 stores worldwide. It will now top all its cold drinks with fancy new strawless lids that the company currently serves with its cold brew nitro coffees. (Frappuccinos will still be served with a compostable or paper straw.)

As is to be expected, Starbucks' decision was greeted with universal adulation.

The World Wildlife Fund and Ocean Conservancy both provided ebullient quotes for Starbucks' press releases. Liberal magazine The New Republic praised the move as an "environmental milestone." Slate hailed the Starbucks straw ban as evidence of a victory for a bona fide anti-straw movement, one that would hopefully lead to bans of more things plastic in years to come.

Yet missing from this fanfare was the inconvenient fact that by ditching plastic straws, Starbucks will actually be increasing its plastic use. As it turns out, the new nitro lids that Starbucks is leaning on to replace straws are made up of more plastic than the company's current lid/straw combination.

Right now, Starbucks patrons are topping most of their cold drinks with either 3.23 grams or 3.55 grams of plastic product, depending on whether they pair their lid with a small or large straw. The new nitro lids meanwhile weigh either 3.55 or 4.11 grams, depending again on lid size.

(I got these results by measuring Starbucks' plastic straws and lids on two separate scales, both of which gave me the same results.)

This means customers are at best breaking even under Starbucks' strawless scheme, or they are adding between .32 and .88 grams to their plastic consumption per drink. Given that customers are going to use a mix of the larger and smaller nitro lids, Starbucks' plastic consumption is bound to increase, although it's anybody's guess as to how much.

In response to questions about whether their strawless move will increase the company's plastic consumption, a Starbucks spokesperson told Reason "the introduction of our strawless lid as the standard for non-blended beverages by 2020 allows us to significantly reduce the number of straws and non-recyclable plastic" as the new lids are recyclable, while the plastic straws the company currently uses are not.

This is cold comfort given the fact that even most of the stuff that is put in recycling bins still winds up at the dump. The company did not address, nor did it dispute, that its transition to strawless lids would increase its overall plastic consumption.

The weight of plastic—not the raw number of plastic objects used, or whether those objects are recyclable—is what should really concern environmentalists.

Pictures of turtles with straws up their noses are certainly jarring. However most plastic, whatever form it enters the ocean as, will eventually be broken up into much smaller pieces known as micro-plastics. It is these micro-plastics that form those giant ocean garbage patches, pile up on the ocean floor, and leech into the stomachs and flesh of sea creatures.

Reducing the amount of micro-plastics in the ocean thus requires cutting down on the aggregate weight of plastics entering the ocean each year. It cannot be stressed enough that straws, by weight, are a tiny portion of this plastic.

At most, straws account for about 2,000 tons of the 9 million tons of plastic that are estimated to enter the ocean each year, according to the Associated Press—.02 percent of all plastic waste. The pollution problem posed by straws looks even smaller when considering that the United States is responsible for about one percent of plastic waste entering the oceans, with straws being a smaller percentage still.

As countless experts have stressed, truly addressing the problem of marine plastic pollution will require going after the source of this pollution, namely all the uncollected litter from poorer coastal countries that lack developed waste management systems.

Straw banners have proven stubbornly resistant to this logic. Instead, they have chosen to rely on either debunked statistics (such as the claim that Americans use 500 million straws a day, which was the product of a 9-year-old's research) or totally unproven notions (like the theory that straws are a "gateway plastic") in order to justify petty prohibitions on innocuous straws. And they have been helped along by an uncritical media. Coverage of Starbucks' strawless move saw The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and National Geographic all cite the 500-million-straws-a-day figure.

By adopting a myopic focus on banning straws, environmentalists, city councils, and conscious capitalists are, at best, having no significant impact on the overall problem of marine plastic waste. At worst, they are pushing expensive prohibitions on consumer choice that are counter-productive—at least in the case of Starbucks' ban—and come with all sorts of unintended consequences.

For instance, straw bans will likely hurt disabled people who lack the motor skills necessary to pull off a flawless cup-to-lip motion. While reusable straws exist, they are hard to clean and not always handy when one needs them. "What if you decide on the spur of the moment to go have a drink with friends after work but forgot your reusable straw that day? [That] doesn't leave a lot of room for spontaneity—something nondisabled folks get to largely take for granted," Lawrence Carter-Long of the national Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund told NPR. Senior citizens and parents with young children will likely be affected for the same reasons.

Why not use more eco-friendly disposable straws? Because they are terrible. Paper straws are known to collapse halfway through a drink. Compostable straws cost six to seven times more than their plastic alternatives, don't keep for long, and fall apart when exposed to high heat.

Straws, although not essential for most people most of the time, are still a wonderful convenience that help people enjoy a drink on the go, preserve their carefully-applied lipstick, or save their teeth from the corrosive effects of some beverage. Just yesterday, we as a nation celebrated 7-Eleven's "Free Slurpie Day," a holiday that can't hope to survive in a strawless world.

Giving up on free slurpies and dignity for disabled people in the pursuit of totally illusionary environmental benefits seems like a poor trade-off, yet that is the trade-off straw prohibitionists are forcing the rest of us to accept.

Photo Credit: Mario Anzuoni/REUTERS/Newscom

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  • Citizen X||

    No sacrifice is too large, inconvenient, or counterproductive in order to look like we're Doing Something!

  • Jerryskids||

    I believe it's called "revealed preferences". It's simply not true that banning straws costs more than it's worth, it's only true if you dismiss the value of the feeling smug and self-righteous and morally superior that the do-gooders get. And how much is that worth? Well, given that these people really don't give a shit if you fucking die as long as they get to feel good about themselves, I'd say the answer is "A lot!"

    It's like the statistics they keep trotting out about how much illegal drug use costs society - they never even try to put a dollar figure on the value of the pleasure received from illegal drug use. If I'm sticking a hundred bucks worth of coke up my nose, it should be pretty obvious to anybody who thinks about it for two seconds that I value the coke more than I value the hundred bucks so sticking a hundred bucks worth of coke up my nose doesn't cost society a damn thing - it actually adds to the net worth of society because I'm better off with the coke than with the hundred bucks.

  • Brent.B||

    Plastic straws are actually pretty low-hanging fruit. The environmental externalities are quite high. Nobody would buy plastic straws if they had to pay the true cost, so they are an obvious target for society (who picks up the unpaid tab for the externalities) to regulate or prohibit. Especially when, as here, there are readily available alternatives without the high cost externalities.

    Like plastic bags, plastic straws cause way more harm to society (and cost) than utility. They are small, essentially unrecyclable, and often littered. They are the 11th most common item of plastic found in the oceans. Yet, thanks to the nature of externalities, they remain profitable and widely used. Eliminating them is obvious and sound economic policy.

  • ChuckNorrisBeardFist||

    What is that cost since you like to throw that around?

    Also, you state sound economic policy, where it was just pointed out above it wasn't true. Compost straws cost many times more?

    Again, US accounts for 1% of plastic in oceans. So we band everything plastic in the country. It will change how?

    You seemed to miss - "At most, straws account for about 2,000 tons of the 9 million tons of plastic that are estimated to enter the ocean each year, according to the Associated Press; or, .02 percent of all plastic waste."

  • M1NK||

    Have you ever tried to lift 2,000 tons? Its a lot.

  • Sevo||

    M1NK|7.12.18 @ 10:58PM|#
    "Have you ever tried to lift 2,000 tons? Its a lot."

    Brain-dead lefty proves (s)he's brain-dead.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Let's see. The world ocean contains about 1.3 billion cubic kilometers of water, or about 1,300,000,000,000,000,000 metric tons of water. Go ahead and throw 2000 tons of straws in every year. I bet you can't even fucking find one to lift.

  • JohnQPublic||

    Come on, is that all you got?? I thought lefties were smarter and more creative than that.....

  • A Non Amos||

    You seem to have.....lifted the 2,000 ton argument. Let me warn you now, its not sustainable. Drop it before you get hurt.

  • MSimon||

    This is the last straw.

  • VinniUSMC||

    Externalities means "I have no clue what I'm talking about but, muh feelz."

  • JoeJoetheIdiotCircusBoy||

    And that my friends is how you "respond" to an article without actually responding to any of the arguments in the article.

  • Brent.B||

    I wasn't responding to the article, so that may explain the confusion.

  • Sevo||

    "I wasn't responding to the article, so that may explain the confusion."

    OK, how about explaining this pile of shit?
    "Nobody would buy plastic straws if they had to pay the true cost,..."

  • Enemy of the State||

    You were actually just shoveling some grade A bald assertions aka bullshit...

  • Unemployed Armenian Tranny||

    "11th most common" still has no bearing on its percentage of total mass, which is 0.02% of mass of plastic in the oceans - most of that mass of plastic is particulate, not recognizable "items" - most of it originates from coastal 3rd world.

  • A Non Amos||

    Bingo....part of the Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics media playbook. In most Pareto analysis, 11th place is usually followed by "All Other".

  • MeanOnSunday||

    It's not even true. At some point a survey of garbage found on a beach cleanup became a list of items "found in the ocean" that gets posted on hundreds of environmental sites. You'd get a better idea of what's in the ocean by looking in your recycling bin. Yes, a substantial fraction of that "recyclable" plastic will get hauled away to a third world country where someone will decide they will make more profit by dumping it in the ocean. Meanwhile those nasty straws will go into your non-recyclable waste and be safely buried in a landfill never to harm a single creature on land or sea.

  • Yirmin||

    Absolute bunk. The price of plastic straws is pretty easy to quantify as I buy them from a store to use at home in every drink I have. Works out to less than 2 cents per straw and I'm damn sure that the store I buy them from is selling them for a slight markup as stores aren't know for selling things like straws below cost.

    Anyone that cares about their teeth will insist on a straw if they drink anything with ice in it because failing to do so will jeopardize your teeth. If you don't use a straw go look in a mirror and you'll see crazing on your teeth from the thermal shock of a cold liquid hitting your teeth,

    Maybe you don't care about your teeth but some of us do. Starbucks will only lose business with this stupid type of act. Some people don't want to be forced to partake in some liberal sham just because idiots in Hollywood claim it is some wonderful thing,

  • ||

    If you're a male, and you use a straw when drinking at home, you're probably a fairy. Sorry bro.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    What about the little umbrellas that come in fancy cocktails? Asking for a friend.

  • Trollificus||

    Yeah, those "Productivity Lost Due to Drug Use" stats start with the assumption that each individual owes his employer some absolute measure of his 100% best at all times. This is not even dubious. People owe their employer a level of productivity that the employer deems adequate to keep them on the payroll. A level at which you are producing profit for them. Any mythical/imaginary/potential superproduction is irrelevant and certainly not a measurable quantity that is owed to an employer.

  • VOTE MILES||

    Will no one spare a thought for the poor camel?

  • DrZ||

    It's not the environment that matters, it's the creation of all the virtue signaling potential: you don't have make a difference, you just have to sound like you are doing something.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I've an idea; let's impose a 'Virtue Signaling' tax. Whenever a measure like abandoning plastic straws can be shown to be pointless, add a 50% surcharge to the cost of the measure to be applied to the Federal Debt.

    If one included local and state governments, we could pay off the National debt in a decade.

  • John||

    So you are saying Starbuck's claims that this is necessary to help the environment is just a strawman?

  • Ska||

    Groan inducing... always a sign of a good pun.

  • Aloysious||

    What about straw-women, John? Why so exclusionary?

    ugh, I just can't even.

  • Ron||

    Strawman, Strawwoman in todays world it should be whatever the straw says it is

  • Ariki||

    So your saying the straws gender is...... fluid?

  • Ron||

    good one

  • Unemployed Armenian Tranny||

    No he is saying that it leans which ever way is convenient at the time of consideration

    - a bendy-straw, if you will.

  • greggsan||

    I wonder if they'll have separate waste baskets.

  • ChuckNorrisBeardFist||

    strawgenderundetermined?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    It still will not get me to buy one thing at that shitty place.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    What an empty gesture. Don't you live in Georgia? The only place to get coffee in Georgia is Waffle House.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I guess when Amazon moves here, they will have to show us Georgians what coffee looks like.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    A Waffle House recently went up near me, so the wife and I visited, only to be reminded how gross the food is and why we never went there. It's fine for 3am drunk food though.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Waffle Houses are like any greasy spoon diners or drive-in restaruants

    Bob's Big Boy, Denny's Waffle House, Perkos, Mel's Diner in Los Angeles, etc.

    Not known for 5 star service and food.

  • Rhywun||

    My town is loaded with non-chain diners where the food and service are without exception excellent. Greasy spoon doesn't have to be crap like Denny's.

  • VOTE MILES||

    Yes, but how are their straws?

  • Agammamon||

    I don't know what you mean by 'West' but Waffle Houses have been as far west as Tucson (where I grew up) and Phoenix since at least the late '70's.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Hey, hey Tucson in the comments!

  • Sedona Vortex Hunter||

    holla! sabion canyon @ snyder rd in da house

  • Sedona Vortex Hunter||

    oops, sabino no sabion of course

  • ColoradoKook||

    There's a Waffle House about five miles from me in Colorado Springs. Is that west enough for you?

  • makamae||

    Hey - I'm in Colorado Springs, too! Waffle House on Fillmore.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    They're in Arizona and Nevada. It's only the coast that's holding out.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    The coast is not the West.

  • Weygand||

    I believe it. Sambo's is much better.

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    Black Sambo's?

  • makamae||

    Sambo's was AWESOME, back in the day. The funny thing about all the fuss is that Sambo wasn't black, as in "African-American" - Sambo was Indian!

  • Big Ed's Landing||

    OMG, now you've gone and insulted two groups instead of just one. You've doubled the insult!

  • Yirmin||

    Quicktrip sells coffee in Georgia that's as good as Starbucks for a fraction of the price. Only difference is you fix it yourself instead of having some overeducated hipster make it for you and then try to guilt you into giving them a tip.

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    It will now top all its cold drinks with fancy new strawless lids that the company currently serves with its cold brew nitro coffees.

    So the hipster doofuses are reverting to using sippy cups.

  • John||

    Hipsters haven't gone to Starbucks since like 1995 dude.

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    If you go to Starbucks, you're a hipster. It's like if you go to Waffle House you're white trash.

  • swain||

    So you're saying you love going to Waffle House.

  • ColoradoKook||

    What's the choice for white trash hipsters?

  • Ride 'Em||

    Crackerbarrel is the choice for white trash hipster.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Raciss!

  • Trollificus||

    Yeah, but that's like, double ironic.

  • Ron||

    the return of sippy cups was predicted on this site earlier

  • JB Say||

    They never went out of style with the under 12 crowd. Dads love searching through a pile of mismatched sippy cup parts when they're already running late.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Huh. Some actual investigative reporting. Simple and sufficient, and something no one else with a lot more people and resources has even thought of doing. Or actually, come to think of it, I bet some mainstream media reporters *have* done this, but the results were contrary to the narrative, so they ditched that story.

  • Mike Laursen||

    There's some chance that somebody in supply chain management at Starbucks also thought about it, but got ignored or overruled.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    They probably did a cost/benefit and realized the positive publicity from banning straws was worth it.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    There is the inventory factor. Two less skus which are also an oddball shape.

  • Echo Chamber||

    It's all about social signalling. Never mind the details.
    Plastic straw use = 0. Winning!
    Using more plastic as a result? Zzzzzzz Math is hard.

    The best is this tidbit that gets lost in the noise:
    "The pollution problem posed by straws looks even smaller when considering that the United States is responsible for about one percent of plastic waste entering the oceans, with straws being a smaller percentage still."

    What a bunch of pointless BS.

  • M1NK||

    There is no amount of environmental progress too small for conservatives to counter with defeatism. The US isnt really a world leader anymore, but back when we were other countries would follow our lead. If we banned single use plastic or increased fuel efficiency they might follow. But this administration seems intent on polluting as much as possible.

    And as i state elsewhere these plastics are BPA free and unlike straws, recyclable - a fact Reason conveniently left out of their bloated article.

  • Sevo||

    M1NK|7.12.18 @ 11:07PM|#
    "There is no amount of environmental progress too small for conservatives to counter with defeatism."
    Nor a wasted effort which brain-dead lefties won't jump on to prove the feelzs, right, brain-dead lefty?

    "The US isnt really a world leader anymore, but back when we were other countries would follow our lead."
    Leaser in what, brain-dead lefty?

    "If we banned single use plastic or increased fuel efficiency they might follow. But this administration seems intent on polluting as much as possible."
    Brain-dead lefty is unfamiliar with "non-sequitur" and "false-equivalence" since brain-dead lefty is brain-dead.

    "And as i state elsewhere these plastics are BPA free and unlike straws, recyclable - a fact Reason conveniently left out of their bloated article."
    Brain-dead lefty raises issue no one cares about.

  • bvandyke||

    I think if you read the article, it is mentioned at the straws are not recyclable and the new lids are. So yes, Reason did mention it.

    The problem with Starbucks not using straws is that it just doesn't seem like the best way to start. Banning straws but using more plastic......

  • Sedona Vortex Hunter||

    umm, actually we are a leader. We contribute only 1% of oceans plastic due to how we deal with our trash. If other countries followed our trash systems the oceans would be much better off. So we actually are leading.

    Leading does not mean 'banning' something. Banning something that has almost no effect is a useless gesture, and is the opposite of leading. It could in fact be worse than doing nothing since it makes people feel like they are already doing something and thus might discourage actual useful attempts.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    So, you want to see polluting as much as possible?

    Stand back, bitch, and someone hold my beer...

  • Yirmin||

    The probably got fired because if they understood reality and dared to mention it when it went against the libtard rules they were branded a Trump supporter and you can't have any Trump supporter working at Starbucks.

  • M1NK||

    Investigative reporting that left out the fact - stated clearly in starbucks press materials - that the plastics are BPA free and unlike straws, recyclable.

    If Reason needs to lie by omission i have to believe their point isnt that strong.

  • LarryA||

    the plastics are BPA free and unlike straws, recyclable

    Except to recycle drink lids you have to rinse any food products from them, then process them in separate bins. Which effort costs much more than any benefit of recycling.

  • Sevo||

    Read the brain-dead lefty's other posts; you're dealing with a brain-dead lefty.

  • Big Ed's Landing||

    Plastic straws are mostly made of polyproyplene. Polypropylene is recyclable. Whether there is a market for recycled polyproyplene I can't say.

  • Clayton Cramer||

    You have too much confidence in their abilities.

  • Rhywun||

    "This is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways," said Starbucks Kevin Johnson CEO in a press release announcing the move.

    Blah blah blah... I see no difference between this and the content-free ravings that everyone pretends to believe in 1984. Nobody actually gives a crap about any of this stuff, but they have to pretend otherwise or else be punished for wrongthought. It's mass psychosis.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Lefties thought 1984 would help them get rid of Trump.

    They soon realized that it derides their socialist ambitions.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Kabuki theater.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Went to our usual Tuesday night pizza place and found they had switched over to paper straws. The paper straws are fine, but I soon remembered from my childhood (when paper straws were still around) one disadvantage they have: if you poke them into a cup filled with ice cubes, the bottom end of the straw can get all crushed. Plastic straws have the strength to not get destroyed by ice cubes.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Did you grab a handful of paper straws and ask the employees how many trees had to die for these crappy straws?

  • Mike Laursen||

    No, because it would contradict how I'm always explaining to my kids that they don't need to feel guilty about using paper, because paper is a renewable resource and tree farms soak up greenhouse gases, even if their teachers at school preach to them all the time that using paper hurts the environment.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Tree farms do not soak up greenhouse gases. Where did you get that preposterous notion? Any carbon dioxide captured by trees is released right into the atmosphere when the paper which is made from the trees decomposes. The only way to soak up carbon dioxide is to permanently (geologically speaking) bury it into sediment. That only happens with grasses, because of their deep roots, which go deeper than aerobic decomposers in the soil, or any carbon that settles into ocean sediment and is buried.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tree farms dont convert CO2 to oxygen while they are growing?

    What is the perfect ratio of CO2 to all other gases in the atmosphere anyways?

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    The one that gives politicians the most authority?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Seems so.

  • BYODB||

    Tree farms do soak up greenhouse gases (H2O, CO2), you'll note Mark didn't say 'permanently'. Why would you even think they meant permanently?

  • geo||

    Trees are an insignificant part of the carbon cycle, and by the way trees do emit carbon dioxide at night and when their leaves and wood rots. Soil actually stores more carbon than plants, so if your kids want to save the earth build a big compost pile and mix it with your soil. It will remain sequestered in soil for longer than in plants. However, 99.99% of the carbon on the planet is sequestered in rock that was formed by living marine organisms in the form of carbonates (CaCO3) which is formed from carbon dioxide. Limestone and dolomite are another name for it. If you are worried about carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere (and I am not because the warming from CO2 is a logarithmic function meaning it will level off long before it becomes an issue), then we should pollute the ocean in order to grow more plankton which will then sink to the bottom of the ocean and sequester carbon as carbonates. Straws are irrelevant and nothing more than virtue-signals in this melodrama.

  • Longtobefree||

    A compost pile is also a good way to hide the stuff from the wood chipper that ain't wood - - - -
    Or so a friend says.

  • VOTE MILES||

    If your name is geo, and you're talking about earth sciences, then you have my attention.

  • Agammamon||

    About 99.99999999% of the paper made from trees is sitting buried at the bottom of a landfill and not decomposing.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Wasn't so long ago that phone books were the single largest component of landfills. And they basically last forever.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Like hot dogs.

  • ||

    That only happens with grasses, because of their deep roots, which go deeper than aerobic decomposers in the soil

    You should've stopped half a sentence ago.

  • Rhywun||

    Paper straws that fall apart when you use them are like something straight out of a communist country in the 50s or 60s, not one of the wealthiest countries in the world. We could probably build a better straw but it would defeat the purpose of the whole exercise, which is to make people feel better about themselves. "Look honey, my straw fell apart! Isn't that neat?"

  • Mike Laursen||

    We would, but we already have a huge box in our kitchen.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Mark my word. It will become a thing to carry around a reusable straw with you.

  • Agammamon||

    70 years from now it will be a hallmark of the start of the American decline and people will talk about how they carried their own straws with them in the same manner Soviets talk about string bags.

  • Ron||

    people will start dying from diseases from those never cleaned reusable straws

  • LST||

    Not me - I'll be carrying around non-recyclable plastic straws and using them as often as possible.

  • Ron||

    I think it would be fun to walk into a place with a box full of plastic straws and start handing them out

  • Longtobefree||

    More fun, and more profitable to stand on the corner near a Starbucks and sell 'singles'.
    When they bust your ass, claim street theatre first amendment, and all that jazz.

    Or take a handful of plastic straws into Starbucks, and throw them in the trash there! Every day.

  • LST||

    "...and sell 'singles'."

    Those would be loosies, right...?

  • Longtobefree||

    No man, loosies be illegal

  • Ventura Capitalist||

    How about handing out "Live Free or Die" plastic grocery bags at the supermarket.

  • Radioactive||

    maybe if we used a little wax on the paper? HOW ABOUT THAT HUH? Jesus we're fucking doomed if we can't figure out how to do straws...how about permanent straws (metal, wood or human bone) for $15:00 a piece, you could get them monogrammed!!!how did we rise out of the primordial ooze without straws of any sort?

    Remember folks, maths is hard, feelz is easy

  • Mike Laursen||

    I think the straws we got the other day did have a little bit of wax on them. They seemed to be exactly like the paper straws that were around when I was a kid, but they were packaged in a wrapper that had all kinds of claims about how environmentally friendly they are and green-sounding company name.

  • Weygand||

    I just use hollow licorice

  • BeenThereAlready||

    The voice of practicality! Buy more Twizzlers!

  • Cloudbuster||

    Why should we go to the trouble when disposable plastic straws are perfectly fine?

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    If you haven't drank a frozen macchiato through a white rhino horn straw then you haven't lived.

  • Ron||

    I'm going to use a metal extendable antenna. I think i have a few at home that I've saved from dead radios

  • Longtobefree||

    Math is easy.
    Even my phone can do it.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    My daughter got a slurpee the other day with a paper straw. Let me tell you how satisfying that was.

  • damikesc||

    So, can we now tell them to go fuck on their anger at logging?

  • Yirmin||

    You forgot the other problems with paper straws.. they have a nasty taste that taints anything you drink. And of course they lack the strength to allow you to drink a ice cream shake, but hey that's part of the plan because the libtard don't want you to be able to enjoy a ice cream shake because it might result in you being a little happier for drinking it.

  • Kristian H.||

    But it feelz good, and that is what matters! Amiright?

  • Bubba Jones||

    This doesn't feel right.

  • Mike Laursen||

    ... given the fact that even most of the stuff that is put in recycling bins still winds up at the dump

    Oh, man. The reaction I have gotten from people the couple of times that I've mentioned this fact is scary. Not just liberals -- my own family member, who is a Republican conservative, started getting upset when I said something about it.

    Right now, on our (extremely progressive San Francisco area) neighborhood mailing list, there is a growing, angry thread about recycling "thieves" who swing through our neighborhood on trash day and pick bottles out of the recycling. This is a perennial email thread that crops up about two or three times a year. I know better than to say anything.

    I had a private conversation with one of our city councilmen where he confirmed that recycling adds to the cost of our city's garbage collection contract. And that was before China cracked down on accepting the rest of the world's garbage. Yet, most of my neighbors adamantly believe that the recycling they put out to the curb is offsetting the costs of garbage collection for the city.

  • Citizen X||

    Wishful thinking ain't just a, uh, river in Egypt.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I know someone that drowned in the Nile. Well, used to know.

  • Radioactive||

    obviously his name wasn't Bob, the guy with no arms or legs who floats...

  • Agammamon||

    Must of been Matt.

  • Weygand||

    Who is Been Matt?

  • Ska||

    Thieves that take the bottles to be recycled? ....ok. I have the same thing in my neighborhood but I'm not going to bust balls if someone wants to get the bottle deposit - as long as they close the bag and don't leave shit everywhere.

  • creech||

    But aren't you supposed to call the cops if the person is a POC?

  • BYODB||


    ...there is a growing, angry thread about recycling "thieves" who swing through our neighborhood on trash day and pick bottles out of the recycling.

    You can thank the homeless people in San Francisco for that, I'm almost 95% sure. At least, that's the case everywhere else I've ever been. Maybe San Franciscan homeless people are lazier than others, though.

  • Mike Laursen||

    We're more down on the peninsula, in Silicon Valley, so the people who are going through our recycling tend to be old Chinese ladies, who might not be homeless. The homeless people in San Francisco are dirtier and scarier.

    Personally, I find it hard to begrudge anyone who is picking through trash from doing it. I can understand my neighbors being a little perturbed or annoyed, but I don't get the level of rage.

  • BYODB||


    I can understand my neighbors being a little perturbed or annoyed, but I don't get the level of rage.

    Yeah, it's hard to begrudge someone the pocket change they might be getting from selling off those recyclables in all honesty. If anything, they're providing a service.

  • ||

    If anything, they're providing a service

    Not really - the waste management service is already taking that stuff away. The rummager is simply taking something that was already being recycled anyway and cashing it in for themselves instead of letting it go to the waste management service whose revenue from the recycling was part of the agreement to pick up your trash.

    The recycling gets handled whether the rummager "contributes" or not. What they're doing is just plain old thievery. It's very petty thievery, but thievery nonetheless.

    Now back in the day, before city-managed curbside recycling, these people were providing a service. There may be a lesson in that.

  • BYODB||


    Now back in the day, before city-managed curbside recycling, these people were providing a service. There may be a lesson in that.

    That was essentially my point, in that when you have a huge homeless population looking for recyclables do you really need to pay a waste management service to do the same thing the homeless were doing essentially for free?

    But, really, I'd prefer waste management services since there's at least a slightly better chance they won't fling everything they find that isn't recyclable on the ground like the homeless tend to do.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I'm almost 95% sure.

    So, 94% sure? 93% sure? Come on, give us a hint! 93.782% sure?

  • BYODB||

    I can't be sure, it's a repeating decimal!

    *shudders in fear*

  • makamae||

    That's what you get for NOT privatizing your trash collection. In sane cities, people pay for their own trash pick up and it's done by whomever has the capitalistic spirit to buy a truck and a gas mask and hire a couple of illegals.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Pictures of turtles with straws up their noses are certainly jarring.

    I mean, it's not the 80's anymore.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Can someone post this pic of McConnell?

  • SRVolunteer||

    Raphael had a problem worse than pizza addiction?

  • Cloudbuster||

    The War on Turtle Drugs is out of hand.

  • Steve-O||

    The turtles need rolled-up dollar bills.

  • See Double You||

    I don't know, I think seeing Mitch McConnell with a straw up his nose would be funny.

  • BYODB||


    The company did not address, nor did it dispute, that its transition to strawless lids would increase its overall plastic consumption.


    That's because no one actually gives a fuck, this is what's known as 'marketing to your demographic'.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    So if we don't use plastic, what do we use? I figure that environmentalists will find some objection to every possible material that can be used to make a cup.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    We go back to wood fires and animal by-products for everything. Seriously.

  • BYODB||

    Nope, can't burn wood. It releases CO2. And all the animals are off limits because vegans and animal rights activists.

    We all must become cannibals and must construct all things out of human parts. We must learn to love the long pig.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Nope, can't burn wood. It releases CO2. And all the animals are off limits because vegans and animal rights activists.

    Doesn't matter. The West is being forced between a rock and a hard place, and from my estimation, the environmentalists are winning. I now use single-use paper bags for groceries that go right into the recycling (aka, one extra stop before the landfill). So we're cutting down way more trees because they banned plastic bags. As I posted above, my daughter got a paper straw with her beloved Coke Slurpee, so again, more trees cut down. That's your only choice at this point.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    By "winning" I mean to say, they'll win over the vegan/animal rights coalition. Everything will be made of wool and plant fiber.

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    There's got to be a way to make straws out of turtle shells

  • Ron||

    I make my straws from the eyes of endangered baby seals

  • creech||

    Artisanal pottery straws?

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Tranny armpit hair.

  • VOTE MILES||

    I saw a man drinking out of a woman's shoe once. It was meant to be erotic, I think.

  • Lester224||

    The Starbucks lids are theoretically recyclable. At least they have a recycle symbol and go into the recycling bin where I live.

    The straws are not. *If* the lids are recycled they won't go into the ocean, at least not as straws.

    I think the article should have mentioned that.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Most plastics you throw into your blue bin are not recyclable and end up in a land fill. Almost every city measures "recycling success" by the amount of material carried away from your blue bin by a diesel truck. They don't measure any of the success based on what happens to it after that.

    Hence the crisis that's occurring when China stopped taking our recycling.

    Even that material which can be recycled is often not, because it contained impurities. So either you spend tremendous resources cleaning/washing those recyclables, or you toss them out when they're rejected by the end-customer.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Landfills are awesome, and they're great followup for strip mines. You take a bunch of valuable stuff out of the ground, then you fill the big hole back up with trash. All good.

  • ||

    Hence the crisis that's occurring when China stopped taking our recycling.

    There's a flip side to this that represents a bit of a third option as well and demonstrates another place where plastic outstrips paper and that's waste-to-energy incinerators. Plastic burns hotter and more completely and requires less handling and treatment per unit weight. Plenty of countries do in fact accept and even pay for recycling materials from other nations because they have the incinerator capacity. Sweden touts themselves as being a 'zero waste' nation and imports household waste from other countries. Somewhere around 50-60% is incinerated.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    A different view on Sweden.

    The confusion that has led to everyone looking at Sweden through rose-tinted spectacles seems to stem from the way incineration of waste is being categorised. Reports praising the country include incineration as a form of recycling, but it isn't. Indeed, too much incineration capacity can hinder recycling.

    Sweden's incinerators were built partly in response to bans on landfilling that were introduced in the 2000s. At that time, many in Sweden worried that building too much incineration could supress recycling: come what may, the capital-intense incinerators would need to be fed with waste.

    Also, burning plastics is pretty much akin to burning oil. I'll not go too far into the science of it because I'm not an expert, but plastics come from petroleum, so when you burn plastics... you get the idea.

  • BYODB||


    Hence the crisis that's occurring when China stopped taking our recycling.

    Because putting trash on a ship and burning gasoline to get to the other side of the planet totally makes sense for a process that's already a waste of precious energy.

  • Longtobefree||

    Bad news; ships do not burn gasoline, they burn a very dirty diesel fuel.
    But that is how you do it if you need to blame other countries for the ocean pollution.

  • perlchpr||

    Hah. The really big ships don't even burn something as clean as diesel. Some of those things run on stuff that's practically tar.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_oil

  • Sevo||

    Yes, they do, so they avoid the intermediate refining steps which (wait for it)

    emit 'pollution'!
    perlchpr, tell us where the fee lunch comes from.

  • Longtobefree||

    Where the free lunch comes from is not as important as the fact the lunch is free

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Is lunch free is somebody else pays for it?

  • Longtobefree||

    The difference between "free", and "free to me" is the difference between Libertarians and Democrats.

  • Ron||

    an nobody ever wonders about all the pollution from said diesel trucks. some cities have three different trucks for each item one for trash one for recycles and one for yard debries. it would be cheaper and less polluting to pick up everything together at one time and have it sorted at the waste site.

  • Yirmin||

    Reality is of almost anything is inefficient use of resources. You can easily see what really makes economic sense to recycle by looking at what companies are willing to purchase... Aluminum cans have value so recyclers will buy them from you, plastic and just about anything else you throw in the blue bins only gets "recycled" because the government subsidizes the recycling of the stuff. It would be much more efficient to use landfills for everything. Just imagine the money wasted on recycling could be used to save lives instead of used to make libtard feel good about doing the wrong thing. Make America Great Again - stop recycling.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Just one tiny example.

    Seattle recycling processor Republic is sending "hundreds of tons" of mixed paper to landfills, a move triggered by the loss of the industry's biggest market for recycled commodities.

    On the plastics side, it takes a lot of chemicals and energy to recycle them. That's why if plastic was a "commodity worth recycling" the municipality would be paying me to take it, instead of the other way around. The price input is your first key to whether what you're doing is saving the environment.

  • I'm Not Sure||

    If plastic was a commodity worth recycling, the people who currently scrounge aluminum cans from your recycling bin would take it, too.

  • perlchpr||

    Wouldn't it make more sense to just start making straws out of a recyclable plastic formulation?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    There aren't many recyclable plastic formulations- despite those spinny arrow thingies with the number in them.

    And recycling the ones that are "recyclable" take a lot of energy and toxic chemicals to do so which (as I stated above) is why we pay them to recycle instead of the other way around. It's cheaper and better for the environment to either toss them or not use them at all. But again, the not using them at all returns us to using wood and animal products for everything.

    Plastics were invented so we wouldn't have to make everything out of sheep's bladders, wood and cotton.

  • ||

    It's cheaper and better for the environment to either toss them or not use them at all.

    Again, burning them to reclaim the energy is also a relatively viable option. Just like it is for wood and cotton only better.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The best option.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    It's kind of like burning oil, but with a bunch of steps and chemicals inbetween. See my link to your point about Sweden above.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    By the way, the food containers they used to replace the old now-banned foam containers use more petroleum products than the foam ones did, because they're solid plastic where the foam containers more mostly air, hence their cheaper price.

    Environmentalism is a political movement, not a scientific one. Environmentalism will destroy this planet.

  • Longtobefree||

    Darwin spins in grave, laughing uncontrollably.

  • CDRSchafer||

    That's the last straw.

  • Radioactive||

    bottom of the barrel?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Tip of the melted iceberg.

  • Agammamon||

    That's very Zen.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

  • Zeb||

    The most important point here is that all the plastic in the oceans and whatnot isn't because of Americans using straws, but because people in developing countries tend to throw shit on the ground. If it gets recycled or landfilled, there's really no problem. Hell, if you are into carbon sequestration, burying plastic is a fine thing.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    America evidently only produces about 1-2% of the World garbage in the oceans.

    America is super clean compared to most places that are not Europe. Puerto Rico, Mexico, Asia, Africa are very dirty and have a bunch of trash all over.

    Italy has trash strikes and the piles of trash can hide buildings.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Italy has trash strikes and the piles of trash can hide buildings.

    It hardly takes a strike to produce that. Why, you can spend a billion dollars on cleaning it up and watch it get worse.

  • John B. Egan||

    Recycling Chaos In U.S. As China Bans 'Foreign Waste' : https://n.pr/2BrRd5a

  • Eeyore||

    I thought it was all of the countries that take it all out on barges and dump it in the middle of the ocean. The lighter stuff just floats off. In nations with strict waste management policies the move away from using plastic straws will do literally nothing to solve the perceived problem.

  • damikesc||

    2018 will forever be remembered as the year that hating plastic straws went mainstream. Once the lonely cause of environmental cranks,

    It still is.

    You don't see places demanding their removal that aren't run by environmental cranks, after all.

    MOST people don't think a really nice school paper fro ma 4th grader is the best thing to hang policy on.

  • ||

    2017 - Year of the woman #MeToo.
    2018 - Year of the paper straw #refusethestraw.

    I gotta say, I'm kinda enjoying my privilege.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I'm enjoying your privilege.

  • Agammamon||

    "This is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways,"

    Everytime I drive by a Starbucks I think 'maybe I should stop in for a latte'.

    Then I remember that they spout drivel like this and say 'I don't want a latte that badly'.

    After all, if I don't buy your product, how much more environmentally friendly can your business practices be if you don't exist?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    No cup purchased, no straw used (paper or otherwise) no electricity burned, no coffee harvested and land cleared to do so (shade grown my narrow white ass) and so on.

  • General_Tso||

    No Art-History degree'd barista to discuss race relations with...

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Just yesterday, we as a nation celebrated 7-Eleven's 'Free Slurpie Day', a holiday that can't hope to survive in a strawless world

    That's fine. It's also my birthday, everyone could have just celebrated that. Also, it's "Slurpee". As in, you are the Slurper, it is the Slurpee.

  • gormadoc||

    Hey baby, wanna be a slurper for your birthday?

  • Truthteller1||

    The progressive herd is completely detached from reality.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Amazing that these conservatives just want to cobtrol people's lives.

  • Gozer the Gozarian||

    (I got these results by measuring Starbucks' plastic straws and lids on two seperate scales, both of which gave me the same results.)

    What else do you weigh on those scales? :)

  • Ron||

    gold and silver, silver and gold

  • Sevo||

    And like the additional (supposed) enviro damage when Micky D's switched to paper boxes for the burgers, this fact will never be seen outside of skeptical media sites.
    The low-watt tree-huggers will be patting each other on the back for another 'victory'; it doesn't take much to impress them.

  • Curly4||

    But switching to paper boxes and wraps for the burger is more environmentally friendly than plastic because paper is made from trees and when a tree another tree is planted and will be ready to harvest in thirty to hundred years while plastic come from crude oil.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    And, the paper containers can be made from recycled paper containers... I mean, that is when someone pulls the paper back out of the landfill.

  • Curly4||

    This decision was never a green thing, it was caused by the mininialls and younger. They prefer a sippy cup.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Juice boxes with metalized interior, waxed paper and plastic laminated outside. And uh, a plastic straw.

  • The gouch||

    These toilet paper rolls are soooooooooo off base.. They should be arguing about the plastic bags in the stores.. They are made with oil also.. !! ALL !! plastics are made with oil.. What a waste of resources using oil to put in land fills. GO BACK TO THE PAPER BAGS!! They're biodegradable.. PLASTIC ISN'T.

  • Unemployed Armenian Tranny||

    I'm doing more to save the world than Starbucks, just by staying the fuck out of there bullshit stores.

  • John B. Egan||

    The author doesn't understand the issue... The issue is to increase awareness of the ubiquitous plastic products we use in our throw-away society, not to provide an immediate solution to the problem.

    Plastic straws are really bad for the ocean. We use over **500 million every day in America**, and most of those end up in our oceans, polluting the water and killing marine life.

    IMO, the real solution would be to oblige people to use their own coffee mugs they can bring from home, rinse and reuse... I'm sure that would offend some people's sensitivities as well though....

    Another option is paper straws like we used when I was a kid.. Or even natural 'reed' straws like those that were the only available product in Europe when I was even younger.

    Seriously though... Is THIS what Reason considers a real topic worth a cheap shot article?

  • ChuckNorrisBeardFist||

    Nice talking points because you didn't read the article.

    As the article pointed out - 500 million is a made-up number (by a 9 yr old). No science to back it up.
    Second, US accounts for 1 percent of plastic in the ocean. US straws are 0.02 percent.

    People have stated here in numerous comments - paper straws suck. Also, they will be using more plastic in their new fancy lids - that people will throw away.

    I know reading and math is hard.

  • turco||

    This is sarcasm , right?

  • Sevo||

    That, or some pretty strong stupid.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Let's go with stupid......

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Let's go with stupid......

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Skwerlz vote yes.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Skwerlz vote yes.

  • QuadGunner||

    "This is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways," said Starbucks Kevin Johnson CEO in a press release announcing the move.

    This is where I thought, "Oh, just go fuck yourself with your holier-than-thou virtue signaling bullshit!"

    Anytime I hear the word "sustainable" I know I'm going to get pissed.

  • Brent.B||

    The focus on weight seems to purposefully miss a huge part of the point. Plastic straws may represent a small fraction of the weight of plastic consumed each year, but they are essentially not recyclable and are frequently littered. They are the 11th most common plastic item found in the ocean. Like plastic bags, their harm is far in excess of their weight and utility. The economic externalities for plastic straws make them low-hanging fruit, much like plastic bags. Nobody would think plastic straws made sense if they had to pay the true cost.

    The concern for disabled people is good, but the solution is also obvious. We had straws for millennia before we had plastic straws. We will continue to have straws after we stop making them from plastic.

    Also, you are referencing Starbucks temporary policy in Seattle as if that is their long-term plan to stop using straws everywhere. I can only assume you did enough research to know that is not accurate. They are going to be investigating all sorts of possible alternatives to plastic straws for the global rollout.

  • Longtobefree||

    "We will continue to have straws after we stop making them from plastic."
    But not in Starbucks, according to them. So will the ADA trump (I can't stop myself) the faux environmentalism?

  • Sevo||

    Brent.B|7.12.18 @ 5:13PM|#
    "The focus on weight seems to purposefully miss a huge part of the point."

    The focus of your posts seems to be an effort to prove you're adept at shoveling bullshit.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Since you are the Sbux expert will they be providing cloth towels for all the transients taking baths in their washroom or staying with those icky paper towels and blow dryers? In quiring minds and all that.....

  • aajax||

    Buy a mug, and glare at people who take the cups with plastic lids. Enjoy moral superiority over progressives for a change.

  • Longtobefree||

    Good point.
    Outlaw all disposable things.
    Make BigBucks hire a bunch of $15.00/hr dishwashers and get unemployment down to zero. People who go to BigBucks will pay an extra couple of dollars if it is for both the environment and the poor worker, right?

  • mjs_28s||

    People, the even though the lids contain more total plastic that the old lids plus the plastic straws does not mean that this is not a good first step.

    Think of it like this - would you rather have three separate pieces that can be spread out in the wind (cup, lid, straw) or two separate pieces that can spread out in the wind?

    How about it you multiply that by 100,000.

    Would you rather have 300,000 plastic items polluting the streets, land, waters or 200,000 plastic items do the same thing?

    This is a good first step as the overall number of garbage bits is reduced. Plus, I wager that many more people will properly dispose of the lids and cups as compared to how many people actually recycle the straws that they use. Straws are small enough and easy to just pitch without thinking and straws are not marked with the recycle symbols. Lids, from many places are. I would hope that the new starbucks lids are marked.

    Third time - this is a good first step and will make a large difference in the amount of garbage out there. Not by mass but by volume (units not cubic space).

  • Sevo||

    mjs_28s|7.12.18 @ 5:37PM|#
    "Third time - this is a good first step and will make a large difference in the amount of garbage out there. Not by mass but by volume (units not cubic space)."

    Sarc or stupidity?

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    C'mon, we're way past even asking that, amirite?

  • VOTE MILES||

    Even stupid people have opinions, especialy them.

  • mjerryfuerst||

    Have this observation been sent to Starbucks, and if so what was there response?

  • skunkman||

    How about we all agree to freaking recycle our crap???? i've been center left my entire life be authoritarian state and nanny crap is rapidly pushing me away.

  • ChuckNorrisBeardFist||

    Aww remember when we had to switch to CFL light bulbs to save the environment? Than it was found out they contain mercury and if you break one...well you have to move out of the house.

    Or wind mills...that kill birds.

    Good times. I can't wait to see what this 'ban' will bring.

  • Doug Heffernan||

    Are there lots of condemned empty houses in which this bulbs have previously been broken? Or does the place have to be bulldozed and buried with other hazardous mercury waste?

  • vek||

    You don't actually have to move out! But it IS a serious hazmat situation that is a nightmare to clean up "properly."

    If you just wipe it all up half assed you will be giving yourself a low dose long term bit of mercury poisoning. It won't kill you, but it sure as hell won't be good for you either!

    This is why I have LEDs baby!

  • Doug Heffernan||

    Aren't the straws and the lids each different kinds of plastic? Does this not matter?

    Lisa Simpson gets really worked up about lack of respect for the differences in plastics;
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LMsoZHd7co

  • Rockabilly||

    I love plastic straws. That is all.

  • Doug Heffernan||

    But if you had to choose between plastic bags and plastic straws, which is your true love?

  • See Double You||

    Plastic bags. Easier to smother people.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    I always get my environmental guidance from StupidBucks.

  • Oli||

    What's it with you Murricans and straws? I can't even remember the last time I used one.

  • Rock Lobster||

    New Starbucks slogan:

    We no longer suck
    But we still swallow.

  • VOTE MILES||

    We still suck. But now it's more like a clitoris than a penis.

  • Entelechy||

    Reasonoids should ask Big Plastc Straw to spike its products with enough powdered iron oxide or gypsum or anything else dense, non-toxic, and extrudable , to make straws that sink instead of swim?

    Cue indignant Friends of the Hogfish , and other bottom feeders.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Yet missing from this fanfare was the inconvenient fact that by ditching plastic straws, Starbucks will actually be increasing its plastic use. "

    Criticizing the Great Straw Ban on efficiency grounds is exactly like criticizing communion wafers on nutritional grounds.

  • M1NK||

    The fact that the article doesnt mention that the lids are BPA free and recyclable (unlike straws) shows us that Reason has an angle. IDK maybe theyre being paid by a straw manufacturer.

  • Sevo||

    M1NK|7.12.18 @ 10:55PM|#
    "The fact that the article doesnt mention that the lids are BPA free and recyclable (unlike straws) shows us that Reason has an angle. IDK maybe theyre being paid by a straw manufacturer."

    The fact that brain-dead lefty posts this as if it means anything shows us we are dealing with a brain-dead lefty.

  • VOTE MILES||

    Especially when the article does mention that the kids, unlike the straws, are recyclable.

  • A Non Amos||

    Simple question.

    Is $tarbuck$ banning straws because of:

    1) "The Environment" ?

    or

    2) BPA content ?

    Their press release the other day sure seemed to indicate it was item #1 listed above.

  • Longtobefree||

    The press release seemed to indicate that Starbucks wants a lot of media buzz without paying an ad agency a dime.

  • Sevo||

    OK, lefty dimbulbs, the market says plastic straws are preferable. You, as lefty dimbulbs, claim otherwise.
    Here is your homework:
    PROVE it.
    Prove it using what is known to those who are NOT lefty dimbulbs as "evidence"; you know, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, - -n. Take off your shoes if you have to count above ten, we don't mid, but give us the numbers on BOTH sides of the issue, prove those numbers are correct and by those numbers *you* are correct.
    I really do not give a crap about kilos or pounds of this or that; that's lefty misdirection and signalling; bullshit. Tell us what specific harm is the result of straws, what specific remediation will result by the ban at what (total) costs on both sides.
    Put up, or shut up.
    Otherwise, admit you are lefty dimbulbs who really ought to STFU.
    The evidence so far makes it pretty certain that the lefty dimbulbs posting here so far haven't the slightest clue to accomplish that, or even to understand what it means.

  • Praveen R.||

    I dont mind a littering based tax on plastic straws if that is what is deemed to be an unpreventable effect of using straws. But to ban them??? Rather extreme. A lot of those activists drink bottled water instead of just drinking filtered water off the tap. I am glad we still have plastic bags at my grocery store

  • Life.Liberty.Lady||

    I abhor the vile, grossly over-priced, bitter swill served by Starbucks. Mud & motor oil blended together would taste better! I find their swill so disgusting & stomach-churning, that I won't even use their gift cards that I've been given. They serve crap & their politics is even crappier!

    That said, their nutty straw ban is yet another reason that I happily avoid StarBLECCCCHs.

    I think tohse who enjoy StarBLECCCCHs are the same kind of people who would claim that they can "see" The Emperor's New Clothes -- they have deluded themselves into thinking that such swill is "tasty" & that bitterness is indicative of "flavor"... BLECCCCH!!!

  • vek||

    Obviously banning plastic straws is nonsense.

    That said, if people try to come up with reasonable alternatives to cut down on waste I have no problem with that. The lid weighing more than the lid/straw combo is very LOLz. But being more efficient and polluting less is not a bad thing.

    Living in Seattle, a lot of the coffee shops have had biodegradable straws for a long time. I don't have a problem with them, other than that they don't work in hot drinks. If they could design one that worked for hot drinks I would be fine with them. As far as the costs go, how much of that higher cost is simply due to the infinitely lower volume? If such straws scale up production and get down to costing 30% more (keeping in mind we're talking less than a cent a piece for a regular straw according to my google search) or whatever, is that a huge deal?

    I think it could be a decent idea, as long as it's not government mandated.

  • vek||

    IN RELATED NEWS: I'M FUCKING PISSED!

    At the bar the other night the second place I sent to that evening, when I asked for a straw he said THEY DON'T HAVE ANY ANYMORE! Because of the stupid ban. The other bar I was at was either handing out old straws still, or using hippie straws. These assholes better get some hippie straws STAT because I like to stir my drink while I'm getting wasted.

  • Longtobefree||

    Use a spoon you commie bastard

  • vek||

    That is a pretty good idea, especially since it weighs a lot more and would create tons more plastic waste than using a straw!

    Ahhh, the unintended consequences idiot leftists never seem to see coming...

  • Longtobefree||

    As it turns out, there are spoons made of other materials that will fit into the existing cleaning/sanitation equipment. Not only no plastic litter, no litter at all.
    (OK, a little bit if drain water with cleaning chemicals, easily treated and reused)

  • Eman||

    D ell, as long as it's you who thinks it's a decent idea...

  • Eman||

    Technology has come a long in the not even 20 years of this millenium, but we'll legislate ourselves back to the stone age yet! Thinking the world should stay exactly the same forever is like the most conservative opinion I've ever heard.

  • AmericanJesuit||

    "The weight of plastic—not the raw number of plastic objects used, or whether those objects are recyclable or not—is what should really concern environmentalists."

    How so? If it the net weight is more, and it is all recyclable, less plastic is used in total.

  • Sevo||

    Even this is not relevant.
    First, show the harm. Then show me cost/benefit in mitigating that harm.
    I don't care if the harm is caused by thousands of these things or one, but show me where there is harm.

  • NoVaNick||

    Those who fucking love science never need to show proof for anything. Its the truth because they said so, now shut up and hand over your straws.

  • TGoodchild||

    Those straws can absolutely be recycled.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    I'm picturing the newest thing in body adornment - a cheek piercing with a gasket mounted straw that rotates to tuck behind your ear.

    Problem solved!

  • texexpatriate||

    Starbucks. Financially, a successful company. How this could happen when it is owned and managed by dopes can be explained only one way: Its customers are even bigger dopes. I went there twice. The coffee was horrible, the service poor, and the people sitting around could only be described with bad names, worse than dopes. I never went back. I'll take McDonald's any day.

  • texexpatriate||

    Starbucks. Financially, a successful company. How this could happen when it is owned and managed by dopes can be explained only one way: Its customers are even bigger dopes. I went there twice. The coffee was horrible, the service poor, and the people sitting around could only be described with bad names, worse than dopes. I never went back. I'll take McDonald's any day.

  • 2ndprotectsall||

    When are you enviros going to give up your PLASTIC phones?

  • Longtobefree||

    When Al Gore stops flying to conferences on how to reduce carbon emissions.

  • NoVaNick||

    Grasping at straws-no better way to describe this latest example of prog virtue signaling. Unfortunately, my wife has jumped on the straw-ban wagon and got our kids stainless steel straws which are a pain in the ass to clean.

  • A Non Amos||

    All it takes is one hospital visit because the straw didn't get properly cleaned to kill any reduction in your plastic footprint for the next 5 to 10 years. They individually package everything in the hospital....right down to the single use plastic fiber based wipes....not to mention, you will probably be offered at least 10 to 15 straws, all individually wrapped, during your stay.

    Then there are the trees that will be sacrificed once they get around to billing you.... I would stop now while you are still ahead.

  • Longtobefree||

    Ask your wife about the carbon footprint of each stainless steel straw for manufacture and distribution.
    Ask your wife about the carbon footprint of sanitizing the stainless steel straw after each use.
    Ask yourself if you want to stay married to her. (why are YOU doing the cleaning?)

  • mrvco||

    I never understood the necessity of plastics straws in the first place. Whatever happened to paper straws?

    But I'm here to deliver solutions, not more questions.

    Clearly Starbucks should start collecting a 10¢ deposit on plastic straws, then the early bum can fish them out of the dumpster and turn them in for cash when he stops by Starbucks to use the toilet. Then Starbucks can wash and re-use them.

  • NoVaNick||

    I think the more of these retarded laws progs enact, the closer we might get to a true libertarian moment. Oh well, at least I hope.

  • Sevo||

    "I never understood the necessity of plastics straws in the first place. Whatever happened to paper straws?"

    Hint: That may be of interest to your mom, but the world really doesn't care what *you* 'understand'; the market favors plastic straws without the added requirement of cleaning them.

  • JGWingfield||

    At times like this we do well to remember the pithy words of the great American philosopher, Kermit. "It's not easy being green."

  • Longtobefree||

    Too true.
    And I notice most 'green' initiatives by corporations involve saving money. I worked at a company that was always bragging on how green it was by cutting out things. So I filled out a 'green idea' form suggesting that the company install a few electric vehicle charging stations and charge employee's electric cars for free in order to encourage green. (The building was far enough out of town to invoke range anxiety in the timid).
    Funny thing, they never even acknowledged receipt of that one.

  • Herbie777||

    This is such pandering by this terrible company.

    When you walk into a Starbuck's and the AC is running so hard that it is 65 degrees ALL the time, wasting energy. Then you use the restroom and see them claiming to be saving the world with blow dryers to save the trees, it is such hypocrisy! They are simply saving money on paper towels and now straws.

    Imagine a CEO who thought it was a good idea to encourage Baristas to discuss Race issues with their customers. Are you kidding me?

    What an idiot.

  • Longtobefree||

    Fun fact; per rigorous science documented by the Mythbusters, the most germ filled place in a public restroom is the area around a blow dryer. That episode is probably on You Tube.
    And the trees used for paper towels are planted, grown, and harvested just like any other crop. 'Saving" those trees is like 'saving' corn plants.

  • GoatOnABoat||

    If straws are outlawed, only outlaws will have straws...

  • A Non Amos||

    Outlaws and government officials......oh sorry....same thing. Never mind.

  • Longtobefree||

    For accuracy, straws are not being outlawed; just restaurant employees handing them out - - - - - - -

    Latest "in" item will be designer decorated little bags to carry your own plastic straws.

  • caseym54||

    Straws might be a tiny part of the problem, but the cool kids say they have cooties, so we must be rid of them.

  • Deplorable Victor||

    If you are against silly little things like plastic straws you are a worthless liberal cunt... And FUCK turtles.

  • Spunkstein||

    Starbucks has now reached woke status which makes them immune to all future racism charges. this immunity does not include prior racism charges,those will still have to be pandered to.

  • Alan@.4||

    Starbucks frankly never impressed me. Their coffee is nothing special, and is overpriced, way overpriced, and over hyped. When I think back to the years I spent in NYC, with myriad one armed espresso joints, there was coffee worthy of the name. Also, should you ever get to New Orleans, check out some real coffee, double roasted bean, with chickory. It can be had without chicory too.

  • pleadthesecond||

    The title of this article should have been 'STARBUCKS VOWS TO INCREASE IT'S USE OF PLASTICS BY 10% TO 20% FOR EVERY DRINK ITEM SOLD'. Not only that, but the author should have gone to Starbucks, confronted them with the evidence and then told them what the article he was writing was going to be titled. Doing stuff like that is one of the only reasons I could think of for being a journalist. That tiny amount of enjoyment, however, isn't worth being surrounded by leftists 24/7.

  • Nunya Beeswax||

    Interesting article.

    Question:

    What is a seperate scale?

  • makamae||

    Isn't this basically just Algore in a private jet, flying from AGW meeting to AGW meeting, crying "the sky is falling!" while helping to make it fall?

  • makamae||

    Isn't this basically just Algore in a private jet, flying from AGW meeting to AGW meeting, crying "the sky is falling!" while helping to make it fall?

  • A Non Amos||

    Perhaps some of the straw being saved should be used to line the bottom of the cage....

  • MonsterJoe||

    We should attach a dollar value to plastic straws, cups and drink lids so that if people return them they can get paid for doing so.

  • Riteaidbob||

    Yes so we can all save the dirty lids/straws...collect a pile...then return them to Starbucks...get out $$$ back...then they can dump them in the trash just like they do now! WHAT A GREAT IDEA!

  • Sevo||

    "We should attach a dollar value to plastic straws, cups and drink lids so that if people return them they can get paid for doing so."
    Suggest your search "broken window fallacy".

  • Riteaidbob||

    So bottom line. Just another total liberal failure...as usual.

  • Longtobefree||

    Not exactly a failure. Starbucks has gotten a mountain of publicity from a single press release, and probably will save quite a few bucks from ordering, shipping, inventorying, and handling one item instead of two.

  • Fredar||

    Wouldn't be a problem at all if we just burned the plastic trash. Oh, right... doing so emits that evil CO2 that computer models say will destroy the world... some day. In the meantime we just try these nonsensical "solutions" which doesn't work and ironically hurt the people and the environment.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    If the plastic is non-biodegradable, does that not keep the carbon from escaping into the atmosphere?

  • Longtobefree||

    Why do you want trees to starve?
    Releasing CO2 is a necessary part of the natural world.
    We would all me better off if the alleged environmentalists would stop their science denying and leave the earth to prove the theory of evolution is correct.

  • Lynnd411||

    ALMOST EVER SINGLE ITEM IN THE GROCERY STORE OR FAST FOOD RESTAURANT IS PACKAGED IN PLASTIC.
    This is the logic of liberals...Ban straws and thin plastic bags but leave billions of other items packaged in big bulky plastic.
    Next there will be a increase of paper straws and bags and then we can cut down the forests.

    When is starbucks going to get rid of their plastic cups?

  • johnl||

    John and Ken discussed this story Friday.

  • SukieTawdry||

    Compostable plastic as the environmental alternative to regular plastic makes me laugh. In order for compostables to biodegrade, they have to be processed at an industrial composting facility where they're exposed to high temperatures. When compostable straws end up in the ocean, they become micro-plastics just like plastic straws.

  • B Wilds||

    It seems many environmentalists are asleep at the wheel and busy nibbling around the edges of the problem while massive abuses go unaddressed. Both an increase in population, as well as the growth of electronic devices per-capita, has created a disposal issue that the world has yet to address.

    The total amount of e-waste produced is expected to reach 50 million tons in 2018, nearly 50 percent more than in 2010. The discarded products collectively known as e-waste include cell phones, TVs, air conditioners, appliances, computers, and solar panels. The sad truth is most are not recycled. The article below explores our failure to deal with the issue of E-waste.

    http://brucewilds.blogspot.com.....f-and.html

  • Sevo||

    So you're here to peddle more bullshit 'sky is falling' claims and pitch your blog"
    Fuck you.

  • JB Say||

    I prefer depleted uranium straws. They can be reused until your lips fall off.

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  • Hattori Hanzo||

    This is priceless. Proggies are the living embodiment of the old saying "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions".

  • Liberty Lover||

    That damn law of unintended consequences!

  • Echospinner||

    Hipster enviro-friendly is part of Starbucks brand image. They are not in the straw business. It makes sense unless the customers hate the new lids and demand the straws back.

  • Otto Didact||

    Couldn't they make straws out of a recyclable material? I wish all plastic carryout items were recyclable. However I most assuredly do NOT propose to bring it about via government fiat. And even without recyclability plastics may still be less damaging to the environment than alternatives. I'm reliably informed that paper manufacturing uses much more environmentally UNfriendly materials than does plastic.

    Of course we'll be purchasing tickets to grand opera performances with all-pig casts (Swine Lake anyone?) before liberals/progressives become able to understand fact-based arguments.

  • XM||

    If I'm not mistaken, Starbucks allows you to take their coffee in your own tumbler. That's probably their next step - banning plastic cups in restaurants. You would have to bring in your own tumbler.

    Banning plastic straws is a bad idea for Boba places, because you need those giant straws to suck up boba and pieces of fruits and jelly inside the drink. "Banning plastic straws is racist" might touch the hearts of some of these environmentalist.

    Starbucks has a virtual monopoly on the coffee market. There are half a dozen locations within 10-20 minutes of where I live. That's why they can afford to pull some of their silly stunts. But their coffee isn't that good. That place is just blended frap central for middle class youth and high school kids. Their matcha something is borderline cultural appropriation. There has to be some uber model out there that can sell me decent iced coffee at 2 bucks.

  • ||

    Know what Starbucks used to do (I don't know if they still do) but they had a retarded habit of pouring an short espresso into a small cup. They didn't even have fricken espresso cups.

    Now that's waste. Never mind completely unacceptable for, you know, a COFFEE place whose inspiration is ITALY.

    But have your little diversity trainings and ban straws. I ain't interested in your product anymore.

  • Longtobefree||

    Starbucks inspiration is not Italy, it is money.

  • macsnafu||

    Virtue signaling is more important than the actual consequences. But don't worry! After they manage to ban plastic straws, they'll go after plastic lids next.

  • ||

    "This is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways," said Starbucks Kevin Johnson CEO in a press release announcing the move."

    Woke and science are oxymoronic.

    How about this notion Starbucks: MAKE ME A FUCKING PROPER ESPRESSO before you go out and virtue signal with nonsense.

  • Rockabilly||

    Man, you can't make a fucking proper espresso with out first virtue signaling

  • Longtobefree||

    The beatniks lived in vain, for sure.

  • Rockabilly||

    Man, the progtarded never learn.

    It's one stupid idea after another and when it doesn't work out, it's trumps fault.

  • cmcrawford2||

    There are disabled people who can only drink from a straw, and there is no straw that can adequately substitute for a disposable plastic straw. So people who want to force their virtue onto the rest of us are actually causing harm to their fellow human beings.

  • Longtobefree||

    And doing so in violation of federal law.

  • Pat001||

    As far back as I can remember there has been much ado about fast food places and the amount of Styrofoam, plastic and paper they handed out with each order.

  • Longtobefree||

    But almost no mention at all of the various 'food safety' and 'food handling' and 'food storage' laws and regulations that mandate the "excessive" wrappings.

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