Starbucks leaving straws behind

If you love Starbucks iced coffee and cold drinks, you won’t be able to drink it using a straw by the year 2020. They announced they will be doing away with straws and going to recyclable strawless lid. They have already made the move in more than 8,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada and will move to the others (over 28,000 globally) by the year 2020. Additionally they will begin offering straws made of alternative recyclable materials such as paper or compostable plastic for their Frappuccino® beverages by request.

They hope to be the leaders of the trend to focus on sustainability for other companies to follow and stem the ocean plastic. Cold beverages now account for over 50% of Starbucks beverages so straw usage has been climbing.

Other trends they have followed for sustainability include ethically-sourced coffee at 99%; charging 5p per paper cup in the London to promote reusability; discounting customers who bring a reusable cup or tumber to company-owned stores to name a few.


Does Eco-friendly Coffee Taste Better?

Jody‘s crew found an interesting study conducted comparing coffee as reported by Plos One. Three experiments were conducted in which volunteers tasted 2 cups of coffee and rated them. In the first and last, the participants were told which cup had “eco-friendly” coffee and one did not. In the second experiment, they weren’t told which was which. In reality, both cups contained the exact same coffee.

Experiment 1: Those who considered themselves as high sustainability consumers were willing to pay more for the “eco-friendly” coffee.

Experiment 2: Participants were not told which cup had which coffee. After their decision, half were told their coffee choice was “eco-friendly” and the other half were told it wasn’t. Those who were high sustainability consumers and chose the “non eco-friendly” coffee still said they would pay more for the “eco-friendly” coffee. The low sustainability consumers were only willing to pay more for the “eco-friendly” coffee if it was their taste preference.

Experiment 3: In this experiment, they were told which cup held which coffee, but they were randomly assigned to either report their findings to a researcher to fill in a response sheet or fill in a response sheet themselves and slip it into a concealed box. The purpose of this was to see if peer pressure of responding to a researcher affected their decision of willingness to pay more for “eco-friendly” coffee. It did not as they were still willing to pay more for the “eco-friendly” coffee.