Shortly after Seattle enacted a ban on plastic straws and utensils, Starbucks announced that it is phasing out plastic straws nationwide by 2020 (July 10) AP
Red Lobster has joined companies like Starbucks, American Airlines and Hilton Hotels and committed to doing away with plastic straws.
The restaurant chain announced Tuesday it is no longer automatically giving out plastic straws to customers. If patrons want one, they’ll have to ask, Red Lobster explained in a tweet.
The company plans on phasing out the use of plastic straws by the end of 2020 and replacing them with an eco-friendly alternative. Red Lobster estimates that the transition will eliminate 150 million plastic straws per year from its more than 700 restaurant locations.
“We hope our work helps raise awareness around the issue of plastic straws and encourages other businesses to make similar changes,” Red Lobster CEO Kim Lopdrup said that the new policy is a meaningful step in the company’s commitment to preserving the world’s oceans and marine life.
It is unclear what the replacement straws will be made of but the company said that it’s currently sourcing and testing a variety of alternative straw products.
The seafood-restaurant chain joins a long list of companies pledging to get rid of straws and cutting back on environmental waste. Recently, Starbucks announced that it will use recyclable strawless lids and an alternative-material straw option in its more than 28,000 stores around the world.
Other companies that have made similar pledges include cruise lines Royal Caribbean and Cunard, the hotel chains Hilton and AccorHotels and food-service company Bon Appetit Management. McDonald’s also announced a plan to start using paper straws in some of its restaurants earlier this year.
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Straw bans could hurt Boba Tea shops USA TODAY’s Ashley Wong reports from San Francisco. USA TODAY
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