This is the last straw

Starbucks’ Sept. 9 announcement that they are discontinuing the use of plastic straws in their stores has led some to question whether Skyline’s World Cup Coffee & Tea, which serves Starbucks coffee, will also make the change.

Kevin Chak, the store manager of Skyline’s bookstore, print services, and coffee shop, discussed whether Skyline would undertake similar changes.

While he said that plastic straws are still allowable in fast food places like the coffee shop, he is working on implementing a solution.

“It might happen in the spring … We are reliant on what Starbucks provides us,” Chak said.

He also mentioned that the cafeteria had already voluntarily removed straws but that it caused people to steal straws from the coffee shop. World Cup Coffee & Tea has several straw containers that are placed in the open and thereby allow anyone to take a straw. However, the impact of the use of plastic straws on campus has not been documented.

Barista Nathan Belara is against the use of plastic straws and talked about the impact of the straw ban.

“I think it would be easier if we got rid of plastic straws. It would be less of a mess,” Belara said. “I’ve heard complaints because the plastic straws can get holes in the side and break easily.”

Belara doesn’t think the use of different lids will cause any impact in the efficiency of the baristas to prepare drinks.

Jailenne Velazquez, a frequent coffee drinker and criminal justice major, weighed in on the issue.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Velazquez said. “I don’t think you need a straw.”

Velazquez was open to the idea of bringing or buying your own straw.

Arianna Tapia, a nursing student, discussed the new iced drink lids that Starbucks rolled out.

“They’re pretty cool because I’ve seen the tops and they’re actually pretty cute,” Tapia said.

Chak had commented earlier that the new iced drink lids were very similar to the hot drink lids. The main differences between the hot drink lids and the cold drink lids are that the lip of the cold drink lids extends further up and the lid is clear as opposed to white.

Karen Velazquez, sister to Jailenne, doesn’t consume drinks with straws very regularly. However, she said, ”My oceanography class talks about it. We share articles about it to help eliminate plastic waste and help animals.”

Chak is looking into alternatives to the sippy-cup-style lids that the bookstore could sell. The alternatives include metal or tempered glass straws. He says he’s working with NorCal-based vendors to come up with an alternative for Skyline.

The logistics still need to be worked out as there is no final word on how many straws should be sold together, if it should come with a pipe cleaner or carrying case, and whether or not it should have a logo.

Chak does have one concern: How do you do a frappuccino? His concern is that it would “mash everything down.” Chak is taking into consideration that drinking a cold drink with a metal straw may cause brain freeze or one’s tongue to stick to the straw.

Since any straw alternatives may not be implemented until spring 2019, the decision to go strawless will be left up to the individual.