Starbucks lovers, this is a summer full of big news. Not only are there yummy and innovative new drinks on the near horizon, but the brand is also pledging to eliminate Starbucks plastic straws from their rotation. This marks an eco-friendly step poised to make a significant impact – especially because it’s coming from such a huge global brand. We are breaking down all the newness and goodness below.
Starbucks Summer 2018 Menu Items
Starting on Tuesday, July 10, two more summer-ready iced drinks will be making their way to the Starbucks permanent menu. Get ready to test out the Salted Cream Cold Foam Cold Brew and the Iced Vanilla Bean Coconutmilk Latte.
The brand describes the new Salted Cream drink as a cold brew that is infused with a hint of caramel and topped with salted cream cold foam. The first frothy cold foam topping debuted earlier this spring, and it’s made from nonfat milk blended until silky smooth. The Iced Vanilla Bean option is both syrup and dairy free, made from vanilla bean coconut milk that is shaken with ice and tops with espresso shots.
Both new drinks sound absolutely delicious – and we know we’ll be spending these hot summer days giving them a test-out. For science, of course.
Starbucks Plastic Straws Initiative
Not only is Starbucks dazzling us with new drink options for the season, but the popular coffee chain is also taking a huge stand on the ever-growing problem of plastic straw waste. The company has pledged to completely eliminate single-use plastic straws in the next two years. Plus, the corporation has revealed a new cup design that would make this transition a breeze. The to-go cups feature a recyclable plastic top with a strawless lid, and the brand is introducing other “alternative-material straw options.”
“For our partners and customers, this is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways,” Starbucks president and CEO Kevin Johnson shared in a press release.
Of course, bringing your own re-usable cups to Starbucks locations is the most sustainable alternative. But this is a major eco-friendly step, and environmental activist groups are praising Starbucks for leading by example in this initiative.
“Starbucks goal to eliminate plastic straws by 2020 from their stores globally represents the company’s forward thinking in tackling the material waste challenge in totality,” Erin Simon, the director of sustainability research & development and material science at World Wildlife Fund, U.S. said in a press statement. “Plastic straws that end up in our oceans have a devastating effect on species. As we partner with Starbucks in waste reduction initiatives such as Next Gen Consortium Cup Challenge and WWF’s Cascading Materials Vision, we hope others will follow in their footsteps.”
“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,” Nicholas Mallos, the director of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas program, added. “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.”
We can certainly live without Starbucks plastic straws in our lives for the sake of a cleaner and greener environment – and we’re loving the way the brand is instituting innovative alternatives.
— Kristine Hope Kowalski