I don’t often order Nitro Cold Brews from Starbucks, and regulars are probably now used to this sippy cup lid that was introduced back in 2017, but it shocked me. Instead of the standard lid that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from Starbucks cold drinks, the Nitro Cold Brews come with a lid that has a hole on the top edge, similar to a wide-mouth can of Mountain Dew.
I asked the barista what was up with the sippy cup, and she explained to me that it is primarily for customers to enjoy the foam that tops their Nitro drinks, such as the new Cold Foam Cascara Nitro I had ordered that day.
Then she hit me with a curveball, saying I can actually ask for the sippy cup on any of my cold drinks, and to not be surprised to see it be the new norm, as restaurant industries are always looking for ways to phase out plastic straws.
Probably the biggest sign that restaurants are leaning toward phasing out plastic straws, is the fact that all McDonald’s in the UK will be replacing their plastic straws with paper ones.
Yup, the Golden Arches made a huge statement, affecting over 1,300 stores in the European nation. That means the new norm for anyone living in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, will be paper straws.
Recently, Alaska Airlines announced it will be eliminating its plastic stirring sticks and drinking straws, replacing them with compostable versions.
It’s obviously not something we think of when we’re sipping on our cup of Coke, but in the U.S., we use about 500 million straws a day.
Now, I ask for the sippy cup on my non-Nitro, Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew. It makes me feel fancy, and now I don’t have to worry about friends yelling at me about straws.
Whether we like it or not, it looks like a change is coming. We might as well get used to losing our plastic straws, while we look to make more environmentally-friendly changes in the future.