Starbucks' blue straws mayhem explained: 'Threw my whole day off'

Bruno Cooke November 16, 2021
Starbucks’ blue straws mayhem explained: ‘Threw my whole day off’

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Starbucks has been sending its regular customers into befuddlement for weeks now by depositing blue straws into its takeaway beverages, rather than its signature green ones or none at all. What’s behind the change?

Why has Starbucks been giving customers blue straws?

Commenting on a Reddit post on the subject three days ago, a user who claims to be an assistant store manager at Starbucks set the record straight.

Starbucks’ decision to use blue straws instead of their signature green straws (that match the colour of the logo) “was in the store communications a couple weeks ago”.

“There’s a shortage (surprise!),” they continued, “so they’re sending us these blue ones instead for awhile.” 

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Another commenter, who did not tag themselves as a Starbucks employee, says “that’s all we’ve been getting for weeks”, indicating that the blue straw saga has been going on at Starbucks for longer than Twitter would suggest.

Twitter reacts to Starbucks’ blue backup straws

Starbucks’ regular green straws are, it seems, closer to some people’s hearts than others. 

While it is only a minority of the coffee chain’s customers who feel sufficiently affected by the change as to broadcast their feelings on social media, blue straws are clearly a bigger deal than many might expect.

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One lamented that her blue straw “threw my whole day off”; one gave Starbucks a straightforward thumbs-down for their blue straw; one suggested, bizarrely, that the blue straws represent a “weird attempt at gas lighting”; and finally – and most happy-go-luckily – one user took it on the chin, and decided to pretend the blue Starbucks straws are for Hanukkah.

Are straws soon to be a thing of the past?

Starbucks has been phasing out its single-use straws for a while now, although they still give them out with Frappuccinos and blended drinks involving whipped cream.

They are also available upon request, although Dallas Culture Map urges: “Don’t be that customer”.

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Starbucks introduced paper straws across the UK and Europe in 2019. The first country to eliminate straws, by comprehensively rolling out strawless kids, was South Korea.

Per The Korea Herald, Starbucks Korea plans to stop using single-use cups completely by 2025.

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Bruno is a postgraduate student studying global journalism, with research interests in the intersection of the media, storytelling, culture and politics. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Packs Light and Forge Press, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com. He is a Student Ambassador for Tortoise Media, a big fan of Freddie Mercury and a novelist – his debut novel, Reveries, is available on Amazon.