Okemos alum designs Starbucks strawless lids



Old Starbucks lid and straw (left) with new strawless lid (right) designed by OHS alum Emily Alexander

Cara Mack, Staff Reporter

In an attempt to become more eco-friendly, Starbucks has created strawless lids to limit unnecessary use of plastic. The introduction of these lids was a result of the discovery of plastic waste in the ocean and in the stomachs of sea animals. Pictures were released of plastic fragments in sea turtles’ stomachs and all types of plastic pollution in the ocean. The slogan “Save the Turtles” was founded in response to this discovery.
What you may not know is that an Okemos High School alumna, Emily Alexnader, created the idea for the lids.
Alexander graduated from Michigan State University’s School of Packaging in 2011 and went on to work at Starbucks engineering department.
Alexander’s design has made an impact on the recycling community. Businesses from Dunkin Donuts to Biggby have adopted these strawless lids as well.
However, some people question if these lids actually help at all.
“I don’t think they are benefiting the environment. It seems like it’s a marketing opportunity because the lids are actually worse for the environment and use more plastic than straws” Lauren Peck (11) said.
Others are more enthusiastic about the lids.
Lisa Ludington (11) is a member of Earth Club. She is a proud user of strawless lids and metal straws.
“She saved a lot of unnecessary straws being used from Starbucks,” Ludington said. She also thinks that we are taking a step in the right direction by using Alexander’s lids.
Ludington offered a tip on limiting plastic consumption.
“Trying to use reusable cups because I personally work at Tropical Smoothie that uses a lot of styrofoam and plastic straws. Lots of people buy reusable mugs and use their own cups,” Ludington said.