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Posted: July 09, 2018

Starbucks to phase out plastic straws at all locations

Starbucks Phasing Out Plastic Straws For Recyclable Lids

By Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Starting in 2020, you won’t be getting a traditional plastic straw for your Frappuccino. Starbucks announced Monday that the company is joining the movement to phase out 1 billion plastic straws a year, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news 

To change from needing straws to going straw-less, the company will change some of the lids to ones that drinkers sip directly from. It’s been called an adult sippy cup, CNN reported.

Some stores already feature the cold-cup lids in 8,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada, the company announced.

They will soon be used at stores in Vancouver and Seattle as the standard for most iced drinks, with all stores following suit by 2020, Starbucks announced.

Frappuccinos will still have the dome lids, but the traditional plastic straws will be made from either paper or plastic that can be composted, CNN reported.

McDonald’s announced earlier this year that the company will be tossing plastic straws in the United Kingdom starting in September and is testing alternatives in the U.S., the BBC reported

Seattle recently banned plastic straws and utensils, KIRO7 reported.

Thousands of food service providers there are now not permitted to give diners single-use plastic items like plastic utensils or plastic straws, KIRO7 reported.

What You Need To Know: Starbucks



Starbucks to phase out plastic straws at all locations


Starbucks to phase out plastic straws at all locations

Starbucks is introducing a new lid for iced drinks that will replace plastic straws.

Starbucks Increases Price of Brewed Coffee

Starbucks Increases Price of Brewed Coffee

Starbucks adds new tropical pink drink to regular menu


Starbucks adds new tropical pink drink to regular menu

Starbucks added a new drink to its permanent menu on Tuesday -- the Mango Dragonfruit Refresher.

>> Read more trending news

The drink is a “deep magenta color, bursting with sweet, tropical flavors,” Starbucks officials said. Company officials said the color comes from real dragon fruit (also known as pitaya) hand-shaken in the beverage. It does not have artificial colors or sweeteners.

For customers that want a creamier flavor, Starbucks recommends asking for coconut milk instead of water. This version is called the “Dragon Drink.”

The Mango Dragonfruit Refresher is available on the permanent Starbucks menu, alongside other refreshers beverages, including Strawberry Acai, Very Berry Hibiscus, Pink Drink and Violet Drink.

>>Read: Starbucks raises prices on brewed coffee

The beverage is available at participating Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada starting Tuesday, June 19. A grande (16-ounce) beverage is under 100 calories.

Starbucks to close 150 stores

Starbucks has announced that the company will be closing 150 poorly performing stores next year. 

The stores are in urban areas that have multiple Starbucks coffee shops, CNN reported.

It is also about three times the number of storefronts that Starbucks shuts down in a year, according to Bloomberg.

>> Read more trending news 

The company has adjusted its profit outlook, saying that sales are expected to rise only 1 percent for the quarter, not the 2.9 percent that was expected, Bloomberg reported.

The announcement doesn’t mean that there won’t be new Starbucks stores popping up around the world, but the company said that it will be more focused, Fortune reported.

  Starbucks changes bathroom policy after Philadelphia arrests
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  Starbucks adds new tropical pink drink to regular menu

Iguana fight! Viral video captures angry lizards dueling outside Florida Starbucks

Maybe they just needed their morning coffee?

>> Read more Floridoh! stories 

A video posted Saturday of two large, cranky iguanas butting heads – literally – outside a Starbucks in Boca Raton, Florida, has gone viral, racking up thousands of views on Facebook.

>> Watch the video here (Warning: Viewer discretion advised.)

The woman who shot the clip, Shannon Moskoff, posted a second video explaining the incident after "Inside Edition" contacted her.

>> On Two women stop traffic to help gator cross road

"So I was on my way to pick up my coffee from Starbucks and I was driving around back, and all of a sudden on the side there, I see this branch," Moskoff said. "So I said to my friend, 'What is that?' And we stopped because it was moving, and all of a sudden, we see that it's iguanas with the iguana's head inside the other one's mouth."

>> Read more trending news 

That's when she took out her camera and started filming. 

"Obviously, you can hear in the commentary that we were amazed by what was happening," she said

>> Click here to watch

According to Medium, male iguanas "vying for territory and mating privileges engage in very intense combat, with head butting, pushing, shoving and locking of the crests on top of their heads."


Starbucks employee fired for mocking customer’s stutter at Philadelphia store

A Starbucks barista has been fired after making fun of a customer’s speech impediment at a store in Philadelphia.

The customer’s friend posted a photo of the coffee cup on Facebook after his friend was mocked by the barista for his stutter on June 27:

“My friend Sam, who is a stutterer, stuttered his name when ordering a coffee at Starbucks. The barista said, ‘Okay, S-s-s-sam,’” Tan Lekwijit wrote in his Facebook post. “When he received his coffee, he was shocked to see that his name on the cup was written as ‘SSSAM,’ which was disrespectful.

“Later that day, he wrote an email to Starbucks Customer Service and got a pretty standardized email saying they were sorry that he ‘felt disrespectful [sic]’ for the way they wrote his name and offered him $5. Clearly, Starbucks missed the point. It was about how you treat people with speech impairments, not how you write names.

“I am writing this not because I want to get anybody into trouble, but because I want to raise awareness among the employees. There are many people with speech disorders who are in a worse position than my friend’s and struggle with self-esteem and self-confidence. Getting this kind of treatment from people, especially service employees, only scars them -- and I beg Starbucks employees to have this in mind.”

Starbucks confirmed the incident and the writing on the cup.

>> Read more trending news 

“In retrospect, this could have been handled better,” Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges told Cox Media on Wednesday. “From our perspective, we have no tolerance for this kind of behavior from our partners. We did a full investigation and that employee is no longer with the company.”

>> Related: Starbucks CEO meets with 2 black men arrested in Philadelphia store

Another Starbucks in Philadelphia provoked national outrage when a store manager called police on two African-American men waiting to meet a friend inside the coffee shop in April. 

The manager complained that the men hadn’t purchased anything and wanted to use the restroom. 

The two men were arrested by Philadelphia police for trespassing. 

They were not charged with any crime.

>> Related: Video showing arrest of two black men at Starbucks sparks outrage

Starbucks officials apologized and compensated the men following the incident. 

Starbucks also closed down over 8,000 stores in May for racial bias training after the incident. Over 175,000 employees participated in the mandatory training program.

>> Related: Starbucks manager leaves company after controversial arrest of 2 black men

Borges told Cox Media that the training was an “important step in the journey to create a welcoming place within all Starbucks stores,” and mocking someone’s speech or any kind of disability is “not tolerated” within the company.

Borges said that the customer was “gracious and understanding” after Starbucks officials apologized for the employee who mocked his speech impediment.

“Coming in to our stores, you should have a positive experience. There really isn’t a training for knowing how to treat other people with respect and kindness,” Borges said. “To be kind, thoughtful and understanding is something we should all have, and we have no tolerance for this kind of behavior.”

Starbucks employee helps deliver baby outside store

A Starbucks worker in Tacoma, Washington, is being credited for her quick thinking after she helped a woman deliver her baby outside the store.

>> Watch the news report here

“It all seems kind of like a dream,” Rashelle Rehms said.

Rehms is a shift supervisor at the 24-hour drive-through Starbucks off South 72nd Street in Tacoma where she’s worked for five years. She’s seen some pretty interesting things, but this is the first time she's delivered a baby.

She was working her typical overnight shift when a man knocked on the window around 1 a.m. Friday.

“He said she's laying on the ground about to have a baby,” Rehms said.

Rehms immediately jumped into action.

She grabbed towels and ran out to the grassy slope right outside the store.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

“The lady was laying right here, so I got the towels for her, this side,” she said.

Seconds later, the baby was out.

“She said she needed her pants off, so I took those off for her and I noticed the baby was crowning,” Rehms said. “So I asked her to lift her hips so I could put the towels underneath her hips, and as soon as she lifted her hips, the baby came right out.”

Paramedics showed up shortly after.

Video shows other strangers also stopped to help.

Rehms, a mother of two, said she relied on her instincts that morning and went into “mom mode.”

>> Read more trending news 

“When you're a mom you kind of go back to those moments when your babies are born,” Rehms said. “There was no really fear. It was just mainly this needs to be done and she needs help.”

Rehms also said she broke store policy when she left the store to help.

"We're proud of Rashelle for her quick thinking and actions until additional help could arrive, and appreciate their quick response as well," a Starbucks spokesperson said in a statement to KIRO-TV.

Later that day, Rehms visited the mom at Tacoma General Hospital. She said mom and baby both appear to be doing well.

“It's an honor that I could be there,” Rehms said.

Rehms said she also hopes to stay in touch with the mom so she can get updates on the baby.


Starbucks changes bathroom policy after Philadelphia arrests

Starbucks is changing its policy on who can use the coffee shops’ restrooms. Now anyone can use the facilities no matter if they have purchased anything.

The policy change came after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia coffee shop after being asked to leave for not buying anything, The Associated Press reported.

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were at the Starbucks for a business meeting. As they waited for a business associate, one of the men was denied the use of the restrooms and both were told to leave because they hadn’t purchased anything, the AP reported.

They were arrested, which was recorded via cellphone.

The call to 911 was made by now-former store manager Holly Hylton, about two minutes after Nelson and Robinson arrived at the location. Hylton told 911, “I have two gentlemen in my café that are refusing to make a purchase or leave,” The Philadelphia Tribune reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The video quickly went viral. Nelson and Robinson settled with the Starbucks, as well as, with the city of Philadelphia, which gave each man a symbolic $1 settlement and a promise to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs, the AP reported.

Now Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz said that he doesn’t want people to feel “less than” if they are refused the use of the restrooms. 

“We don’t want to become a public bathroom, but we’re going to make the right decision a hundred percent of the time and give people the key,” Schultz told the AP.

Bathroom access was left to the discretion of the store managers, the AP reported.

Shultz said that Nelson and Robinson should never had been arrested, the Tribune reported.

In addition to the new bathroom policy, Starbucks will close more than 8,000 stores in the U.S. on May 29 for racial bias training, The Tribune reported.

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  Starbucks' CEO wants to apologize 'face-to-face' to 2 black men arrested at Philly store
  Starbucks manager leaves company after controversial arrest of 2 black men
  Starbucks CEO meets with 2 black men arrested in Philadelphia store
  Starbucks closing over 8,000 stores for racial-bias training after controversial arrest
  Starbucks founder Howard Schultz speaks for first time since arrest of 2 black men
  Philadelphia Starbucks arrest: Men say manager called 911 minutes after they arrived
  Black men arrested at Starbucks settle for $1 and $200K youth program

Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz stepping down at end of June after almost 40 years

Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz is stepping down on June 26 after nearly 40 years, according to a statement from the coffee giant.

>> Read more trending news 

The company will honor Schultz, who is credited with reimagining the Italian coffeehouse tradition in America, as chairman emeritus when he leaves at the end of the month.

While Schultz was at the helm of Starbucks, he built the shop from 11 stores to more than 28,000 locations in 77 countries, according to a company statement.

Under his leadership, the coffee giant delivered a 21,000 percent increase in the value of its stock price since 1992 when it made its first public offering.  

>> Related: Starbucks closing 8,000 stores Tuesday afternoon for racial bias training

Starbucks growth”was fueled by his decisions to provide uncommon benefits for those who work for Starbucks, including comprehensive healthcare, stock ownership and free college tuition, even for those working part-time,” the retailer said.

“I set out to build a company that my father, a blue-collar worker and World War II veteran, never had a chance to work for,” Schultz said in a letter to past and present Starbucks partners. 

“Together we’ve done that, and so much more, by balancing profitability and social conscience, compassion and rigor, and love and responsibility,” he said.

Schulz will oversee the opening of two Roastery stores - one in Milan in September and one in New York in October - after he leaves the board, the company said.

He also oversaw racial bias training for Starbucks’ 175,000 workers earlier this month after the arrest of two black customers at a store in Philadelphia

>> Related: Starbucks CEO meets with 2 black men arrested in Philadelphia store

Schulz, the father of two children, said in Monday’s statement, he’s looking forward to spending time with his family this summer. He also said he’s writing a book about “Starbucks social impact work and the efforts to redefine the role and responsibility of a public company in an ever-changing society.”

The company also announced on Monday that two current board members, former J.C. Penny chairman and CEO Myron E. Ullman will replace Schultz as the next chairman of Starbucks Board of Directors and Mellody Hobson, of Ariel Investments, will serve serve as vice chair.


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