Starbucks to end use of plastic straws by 2020

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Starbucks announced Monday plans to eliminate plastic straws from all of its 28,000 stores by 2020 -- and Long Islanders are on board. Starbucks announced Monday plans to eliminate plastic straws from all of its 28,000 stores by 2020 -- and Long Islanders are on board.
WOODBURY -

Starbucks announced Monday plans to eliminate plastic straws from all of its 28,000 stores by 2020 -- and Long Islanders are on board.

"I think it's going to help the environment very much," says Fred Berrios, of Amityville. "Should have done it a long time ago."

Marcia Clark, of Farmingdale, says she doesn't use straws anyway.

According to environmentalists, plastic straws end up as litter on beaches and in the water, hurting marine life. They're light and easily carried with the wind.

"They are in the top 10 items picked up off the beaches during beach cleanup," says Maureen Dolan Murphy, of Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

And those beach cleanups aim to put a dent in the estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic that finds its way into the oceans every year, she says.

Starbucks says it will offer new recyclable straws upon request instead.

"We hope other companies take the lead like Starbucks and use other straw alternatives," Murphy says. "Or just go straw-less."

Starbucks has already removed plastic straws from its locations in Seattle, Washington. 

In Florida, Fort Myers Beach has a citywide ban. Similar laws are being proposed in San Francisco and New York.

RELATED: Suffolk aims to draw straws out of circulation

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