Starbucks is going strawless in 2020

By 2020, recyclable lids that look like sippy-cups will be de rigueur.

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

Ideology drives us apart. Neuroscience can bring us back together.

A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.

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  • How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
  • To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
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