Consider the green Starbucks straw. Sure, it might be an afterthought now. But you've seen hundreds of them before. Since the mid-2000s, there has been nary a celebrity who hasn't been with a skinny green tube near their mouths. And now—just like Von Dutch hats and affordable rent—those days are over.
Starbucks has pledged to stop using disposable straws by 2020. The reason? Think about the millions of iced drinks Starbucks serves each day. Cold drinks—which use those straws—make up over 50% of Starbucks' business, and the straws are only used once. They end up in landfills and eventually the ocean. Simply put: those straws can accumulate fast and can cause a lot of damage to the environment. Instead of the green straws, we'll have recyclable plastic lids. If you've ordered a Nitro Latte recently, you've probably seen them. And if you haven't ordered a Nitro Latte yet... you're not living your best life, are you?
Starbucks' hometown of Seattle just implemented a ban on single-use straws and cutlery, with a $250 fine if regulators find a store peddling an iced beverage with a plastic straw. New York City is working on a similar ban. And quite honestly, those personal beverage containers all the cool celebs are caddying are pretty sweet, too.
Will it make a difference in the long run? In your correspondent's opinion (presented to you as a reward for reading all the way to the bottom)... sure. It might not feel like you're doing much to save the planet, but consider the ozone layer for just a second: earlier this year, scientists measured the hole in the ozone layer and it's actually getting smaller thanks to conservation efforts.