The demise of a basic luxury we've all had for most of, if not all of our lives is about to disappear forever and Starbucks is leading the way.  Plastic straws are coming to an end, not just for the most popular coffee shop in America but for bars, restaurants, and pretty much everywhere that serves any type of beverage.

The Washington Post reports that Starbucks hands out more than a billion straws every year.  They have more than 22,000 stores and bring in approximately $22.4 billion (that's billion with a B) annually and more than half of that is attributed to cold drinks which traditionally use plastic straws.

Starbucks has committed to a $10 million project to help eliminate the use of plastic straws everywhere by setting the example and leading the way.  They will eliminate all straws worldwide by the year 2020 by transitioning into cups and lids that are fully recyclable and compostable.  Stores in Seattle and Vancouver will be the guinea pigs starting things off this Fall.

Now if you just cannot stand not having a straw, don't blow a gasket just yet.  Starbucks will be offering paper straws for their ice-blended frappuccinos which are obviously much more bio-friendly.

My hat's off to China Blue, Dirty Little Roddy's, Amsterdam Lounge, the Tailgate Sports Bar and Grill, Bittercreek Ale House, and Red Feather Lounge for already implementing a "No Plastic Straw" policy and going to paper straws.

The "No More Straws" movement started three years ago after a video surfaced of a sea turtle that had a plastic straw wedged up its nose.  Straws do not decompose and are harmful and sometimes fatal to our wildlife.  Local governments are starting to pass legislation mandating that plastic straws are taken off the shelves and some establishments, big and small, have taken the liberty to speed up the process by implementing their own restrictions.