Orlando-based seafood restaurant Red Lobster has announced that it will replace the plastic straws the company uses throughout its outlets with an eco-friendly alternative by 2020
In the company’s press release it said that this initiative will “eliminate almost 150 million plastic straws per year” and links these efforts “to support healthy oceans” to its responsible sourcing practices for its seafood.
From November this year, Red Lobster will only provide plastic straws to customers on request.
“We are proud to be the first large casual dining restaurant company to make a commitment to eliminate plastic straws from our restaurants,” said Red Lobster CEO Kim Lopdrup.
“This is a meaningful step in our long-standing commitment to protect and preserve the world’s oceans and marine life. We hope our work helps raise awareness around the issue of plastic straws and encourages other businesses to make similar changes.”
The restaurant chain is currently exploring eco-friendly alternatives, and “plans to engage advocates for people with disabilities to help inform the selection of a new product.”
“We have a diverse guest base,” Lopdrup added, “so it’s important that we identify a straw product that accounts for that and meets a broad variety of guest needs.”
Starbucks announced in July that it will also abolish plastic straws from its global outlets by 2020, while McDonald’s said in June that it will stop using them in its UK and Ireland stores by 2019.