It’s estimated that more than 500 million plastic straws are used per day in the U.S. and much of that waste ends up in the oceans causing harm to sea creatures. In an effort to reduce waste, a handful of big companies have announced plans to ban single-use plastic straws.
Starbucks (SBUX) Starbucks said that it will stop using plastic straws in its 28,000 stores by 2020. Instead, the company will use a strawless lid on most of its cold beverages, replacing the more than 1 billion green straws the company hands out each year. The lids are currently available in around 8,000 stores when customers order the Nitro Cold Brew topped with sweet cream. As part of the effort to move away from plastic straws, Starbucks’ iconic Frappuccino drinks will use a paper straw or one made from a sustainable material, the company said.
In May, Bon Appétit Management Company said it would ban plastic straws and stirrers companywide in its 1,000 cafés and restaurants in 33 states with the phase-out expected to be completed by September 2019.
Furniture giant IKEA said it would remove all single-use plastic from its in-store restaurants by 2020.
Pret A Manger and Costa will eliminate their plastic straw usage and switch to a sustainable alternative.
Hotels and Airlines
Also on Monday, Hyatt Hotels (H) said it would end single-use straws and drink picks and start offering eco-friendly alternatives. Hilton (HLT), the parent company that manages 14 hotel brands, plans to remove the estimated 35 million plastic straws it hands out each year by the end of 2018. On July 18, Marriott International (MAR) followed and announced that it will remove plastic straws and drink stirrers from all of its 6,500 hotels and resorts worldwide by 2019.
Royal Caribbean (RCL) will be plastic-straw free on all of its cruise ships by 2019. The cruise line presently has a “straws upon request” policy.
On Tuesday, American Airlines (AAL) said it will remove plastic straws and stir sticks from its lounges and instead serve drinks with biodegradable straws and wooden stir sticks. In November, the airline will begin removing plastic straws and stir sticks from its flights and replace them with eco-friendly alternatives.
Last year, a 16-year-old Girl Scout Shelby O’Neill successfully convinced Alaska Airlines (ALK) to ditch 22 million single-use stir straws and citrus picks the airline uses each year for marine-friendly alternatives.
The movement extends beyond restaurants, travel, and hospitality. In June, SeaWorld (SEAS) announced that it removed single-use plastic straws from all of its 12 parks. Disney (DIS) will remove all of its plastic straws and plastic stirrers by mid-2019. The company estimates it hands out 175 million plastic straws and 13 million stirrers annually. Presently, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park forbids plastic straws.
Goldenvoice’s Coachella Music and Arts Festival eliminated an estimated 300,000 single-use plastic straws.
If you know of a big company dropping plastic straws, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.