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Food-Service Behemoth Aramark Is Doing Away With Plastic Straws

The cuts will take 100 million straws out of operation each year

Plastic straws Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Aramark Corporation, which runs food-service programs at large-scale venues such as schools, hospitals, and sports stadiums around the world, has announced plans to “significantly reduce” single-use plastic utensils — such as straws — from its business. Aramark will introduce environmentally-friendly alternatives starting this September, according to a press release, and intends to complete its plastic overhaul by 2022.

“Today’s announcement provides an opportunity to make meaningful achievements in minimizing our environmental impact, while continuing to deliver experiences that enrich and nourish lives,” Aramark chairman, president, and chief executive officer Eric Foss said in the release.

The company claims to annually serve two billion meals across 19 countries and says this program will take 100 million plastic straws out of its operations each year. Aramark points to a consumer survey as catalyst for the change, citing 60 percent of respondents who are “concerned with the overuse of plastic” and nearly 80 percent who are trying to reduce personal plastic consumption.

Plastic straws, seemingly out of nowhere, are a big target of environmentalists due to their negative impact on the world’s oceans. Left-leaning American municipalities have looked to outlaw the beverage accessories within the past year, and some major fast-food companies, such as McDonald’s and Starbucks, have decided to deploy alternatives.

Detractors of the movement point out that some individuals with disabilities need plastic straws to drink beverages. Aramark says it will continue to provide plastic straws “by request” for people with special needs and hospital patients.

Aramark to Reduce Single-Use Disposable Plastics Across Global Operations by 2022 [Official]
Why the World Is Hating on Plastic Straws Right Now [E]
Starbucks Sippy Cups Will Replace Plastic Straws by 2020 [E]
The Last Straw [E]

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