Brands are eliminating plastic straws in an environmental initiative

Millennials and Gen Zs are highly eco-conscious consumers and they expect companies to innovate around environmentally friendly products and practices, from food to fashion to furniture. The #StopSucking movement encourages consumers to cut back on their use of single-use plastic straws, and big brands are accepting the challenge, too by reducing, eliminating, and replacing this ubiquitous utensil.


Although Starbucks is notorious for spelling customers’ names incorrectly, the brand is rather accommodating when it comes to making substitutions, whether it’s the type of milk in the coffee or the receptacle it’s consumed from—the caffeine giant is replacing all plastic straws with a type of sippy cup lid by 2020. The lids are fully recyclable, and if a consumer specifically requests a straw or the beverage requires one, such as a Frappuccino, new straws made of paper or compostable plastic will be offered.


Earlier this month Alaska Airlines became the first U.S. airline to ban single-use plastic straws and citrus picks in its lounges and on all flights. The airline’s plastic utensils are replaced with Forest Stewardship Council certified tools including white birch stir sticks, bamboo citrus picks, and non-plastic, ocean-friendly straws that are available to travelers upon request. Alaska Airlines also plans to replace most of its juice boxes with recyclable aluminum cans by the end of the summer; it swapped its in-flight beer bottles with aluminum cans last year.


Beginning in September of this year, all Hyatt hotels internationally will provide single-use plastic straws and drink picks to guests by request only, and eco-friendly alternatives will be offered where they are available. After launching its 2020 Environmental Sustainability Vision in 2014 the corporation has been making strides toward its goals, including diverting food waste, sourcing responsibly, and reducing water and energy consumption, and the minimization in the use of plastic straws and drink picks furthers Hyatt’s efforts.