Alaska Airlines is the latest big company to ditch plastic straws. Here’s why we all should, too.
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American Airlines has become the latest big company to say it’s axing plastic straws in the name of environmentalism.
The world’s largest carrier announced on Tuesday that it will eliminate plastic straws and stir sticks from its flights and lounges.
American’s move comes amid growing global concern about the impact that single-use plastics are having on the environment. In particular, many environmental watchdog groups have sounded the alarm about how much plastic is making its way into the planet’s oceans.
Big business has begun to respond to the concern.
Starbucks said on Monday that it is aiming to eliminate plastic straws globally by 2020. And, in May, Alaska Airlines said it would become the first U.S. airline to eliminate single-use plastic straws and sticks altogether. In fact, the travel industry as a whole has increasingly been looking for ways to lessen the amount of plastic waste it produces. (More: Travel industry takes aim at reducing plastic waste)
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Now, American is joining the movement. Its first change will come in its frequent-flier lounges, where the company says it will eliminate plastic straws beginning this month in favor of biodegradable, eco-friendly options. Plastic stir sticks will be replaced with wood versions. Additionally, American says it will “begin transitioning” from plastic utensils to “eco-friendly” options.
Next will come changes onboard its aircraft, an effort American says will commence in November. That’s when the plastic stir sticks that are currently offered during American’s onboard beverage service will switch to an “environmentally friendly” bamboo version.
American estimates the changes will help it eliminate more than 71,000 pounds of plastic per year.
“We’re very excited and proud to share this initiative with our team members and customers,” Jill Surdek, American’s Vice President – Flight Service, said in a statement. “We’re cognizant of our impact on the environment and we remain committed to doing our part to sustain the planet for future generations of travelers.”
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