Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Starbucks announced on Monday a phase-out of plastic straws in their 28,000 stores across the world by 2020, planning to replace them with a "strawless lid" and straws made of paper and recyclable plastic.

Why it matters: Starbucks estimates that this change will remove a billion single-use straws from its stores each year. Straws represent an especially unnecessary plastic to many, used once for minutes before being discarded, and have been linked to deaths of marine and bird life due to improper disposal.

The big picture: According to organization For a Strawless Ocean, Americans use 500 million plastic straws each day — and the majority end up in the ocean. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that the mass of plastic in the ocean will surpass that of marine life by 2050.

The bans are in vogue, and some activists hope the straw bans may serve as a "gateway plastic" to reducing other single-use plastics.

  • The UK announced a full phase-out of straws and cotton swabs in April.
  • Seattle became the first major U.S. city to ban plastic straws on July 1.

Yes, but: Plastic straws aren't the biggest culprit in plastics pollution, they're just easy to remove. While banning them would reduce pollution overall, it would make a small dent and the world's largest buyer, McDonald's, hasn't announced any planned phase-out.

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Facebook boycott organizers share details on their Zuckerberg meeting

Facebook is in the midst of the largest ad boycott in its history, with nearly 1,000 brands having stopped paid advertising in July because they feel Facebook hasn't done enough to remove hate speech from its namesake app and Instagram.

Axios Re:Cap spoke with the boycott's four main organizers, who met on Tuesday with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other top Facebook executives, to learn why they organized the boycott, what they took from the meeting, and what comes next.

Boycott organizers slam Facebook following tense virtual meeting

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Civil rights leaders blasted Facebook's top executives shortly after speaking with them on Tuesday, saying that the tech giant's leaders "failed to meet the moment" and were "more interested in having a dialogue than producing outcomes."

Why it matters: The likely fallout from the meeting is that the growing boycott of Facebook's advertising platform, which has reached nearly 1000 companies in less than a month, will extend longer than previously anticipated, deepening Facebook's public relations nightmare.

Steve Scalise PAC invites donors to fundraiser at Disney World

Photo: Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise’s PAC is inviting lobbyists to attend a four-day “Summer Meeting” at Disney World's Polynesian Village in Florida, all but daring donors to swallow their concern about coronavirus and contribute $10,000 to his leadership PAC.

Why it matters: Scalise appears to be the first House lawmakers to host an in-person destination fundraiser since the severity of pandemic became clear. The invite for the “Summer Meeting” for the Scalise Leadership Fund, obtained by Axios, makes no mention of COVID-19.