Ditching plastic straws is a positive move for the company, but it is clear they still have a ways to go on removing plastic cups and lids from their repertoire.
The newly designed strawless lid will be used for all iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages. The polypropylene material used to make Starbucks' new lids "will definitely help, if [Starbucks] is committed to doing a recycling program", Morris said.
The lid, the company said, is now available in more than 8,000 stores in the United States and Canada for select beverages, including its Draft Nitro and Cold Foam drinks. Last week, Seattle's ban on single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service outlets took effect, and Starbucks says it already offers alternative straws there. "As we partner with Starbucks in waste reduction initiatives. we hope others will follow in their footsteps".
Berks County residents grabbing a morning cup of iced coffee at Starbucks locations may soon notice a lack of plastic straws with their favorite drinks.
"There are several of these single-use items the public is realising, hey, we don't actually need these, " said Denise Hardesty, a scientist with Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, which studies plastic pollution.
The coffee chain is the latest big company to acknowledge the environmental threat plastic straws pose and promise to implement an alternative in the face of mounting public pressure.
Already, other major companies are moving towards strawless.
"With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we can not afford to let industry sit on the sidelines", he added.
"Basically (for) the small drink straws, there's not an easy way to recycle them", she said.
Some cities, including Seattle and Fort Myers Beach in Florida, have banned plastic straws.
Starbucks' bold move is also one step further on top of its "global cup solution", a campaign Starbucks launched in March this year aiming to develop a fully recyclable and compostable cup for the entire restaurant industry by 2020.
Instead, it will introduce a new recyclable lid and alternative straw options (compostable and paper) to its worldwide customer base. Additionally, they encourage customers to use reusable tumblers.