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Major brands hop on bandwagon to rid the world of plastic straws after Starbucks' announcement

Starbucks announced it would soon begin phasing out plastic straws and replacing them with strawless lids. Other major brands have announced their pledges to say goodbye to plastic straws. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Some major brands are moving swiftly to join Starbucks in its plan to ditch plastic straws in more than 28,000 stores worldwide.

Hyatt Hotels, MGM Resorts International, and American Airlines have announced their pledges to say goodbye to plastic straws in favor of more ocean-friendly options on the heels of Starbucks' news.

Starbucks said it plans to begin introducing its strawless lids in lieu of plastic straws starting this fall in Seattle and Vancouver, with phased rollouts in the U.S. and Canada to follow in 2019, according to Monday's news release.

A global rollout will follow in select stores in France, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The strawless lids look similar to sippy cups used by toddlers.

The massive coffee giant anticipates its move could eliminate more than a billion plastic straws each year, according to the release.

“Starbucks decision to phase out single-use plastic straws is a shining example of the important role that companies can play in stemming the tide of ocean plastic. With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, we cannot afford to let industry sit on the sidelines, and we are grateful for Starbucks leadership in this space,” Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas program, said in the release.

Are there companies already doing this?

Alaska Airlines started this month replacing plastic straws and citrus picks with white birch stir sticks and a bamboo alternative for the citrus picks in its airport lounges and on all flights, according to Money Magazine.

In May, Bon Appetit said it would completely phase out all plastic straws and stirrers in 1,000 restaurants in 33 states by 2019.

Last month, SeaWorld Entertainment announced its decision to get rid of all plastic straws and plastic bags from its 12 theme parks.

Royal Caribbean cruise line plans to stop providing plastic straws on its entire fleet by the end of the year.

Some big brand companies such as McDonald's and Marriott International started reducing their reliance on plastic in countries such as Taiwan and in the U.K. ahead of their American counterparts, Money reported.

Are there any cities or states banning straws?

The city of Seattle recently became the first major city to place a ban on single-use plastics including straws, utensils, and cups.

Restaurants that violate the law could be fined up to $250 for noncompliance.

The state of California is considering legislation that would prevent straws from being provided unless requested by the customer. Waitstaff who violate the law would be subject to fines.

While California contemplates Assembly Bill 1884, some cities, such as Oakland and Malibu, have already banned plastic straws.

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