Coffee straw Starbucks

Starbucks is set to join the growing list of food to go retailers trialling sustainable straw options.

The coffee giant will trial biodegradable and paper straws in 54 UK stores across London and Manchester next month.

This follows an announcement from prime minister Theresa May last week that the government looks set to ban the sale of straws and stirrers.

Starbucks joins an increasing number of food to go chains pledging to ditch plastic straws in favour of more sustainable alternatives.

In January, juice bar chain Crussh vowed to switch from plastic straws to compostable alternatives by Easter, while Pret a Manger and Costa Coffee also pledged to trial paper straws and non-plastic alternatives respectively.

McDonald’s followed suit at the end of last month, pledging to trial paper straws in selected restaurants.

Starbucks also revealed today that the 5p disposable cup charge trial across 35 London stores had triggered a 3.7% increase in customers bringing in their own cup or tumbler since its launch in February.

Revenue from the 5p charge is going to environmental charity Hubbub. It will publish a conclusive report on how reusable cup use has changed following the three-month trial.

“We are encouraged by the initial results of our trial that show that by charging 5p and increasing communication on this issue, we can help to reduce paper cup use,” said Starbucks EMEA COO Jason Dunlop.

“Now those same customers can also help us to test innovative plastic straw alternatives, to further reduce our impact on the environment. We look forward to sharing the full report on this cup charge trial, in collaboration with Hubbub, with the wider industry as we work together to find sustainable solutions.”