Starbucks is ditching plastic straws

Starbucks Corp. said Monday that it will eliminate single-use plastic straws from all of its locations within two years, becoming the largest food and beverage company to do so as calls for businesses and cities to cut waste grow louder.

Although plastic straws account for a small percentage of the pollution that ends up in the ocean, they have become a flashpoint because they're seen as an easy way to reduce waste.

A week after its hometown of Seattle banned plastic drinking straws and utensils, Starbucks said that by 2020, it will be using straws made from biodegradable materials such as paper, along with specially designed lids. The company already offers alternative straws in Seattle.

Other cities, such as Fort Myers, Fla., have banned plastic straws. Similar proposals are being considered in places such as New York and San Francisco.