The Current: July 11th Edition

Happy Wednesday! --- Or should we say happy Hump(back) day! Today, we are going to update you on The Current news of how our world is getting greener. Let’s dive in!

Starbucks and Hyatt Hotels Join the #PassonPlastic Movement

Starbucks announced on Monday that it will phase out their usage of plastic straws in favor of their recyclable plastic lids.Starbucks said in a press release that the move to replace straws from its roughly 28,000 stores will eliminate more than 1 billion straws a year.

"For our partners and customers, this is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a news release.

Hyatt Hotels have also decided to join the anti-plastic straw movement.

“...This is a meaningful step and our commitment doesn’t stop with straws and drink picks.”

Announcing its decision to ban single-use plastic straws, drink picks, and other single-use plastics from its hotels globally, the Chicago-based company, which has about 700 hotels in more than 50 countries, on Monday said from September these items will be available for guests on request only. It said eco-friendly alternatives will be provided instead.

Frank Lavey, senior vice president, global operations for Hyatt, said, “Eliminating plastic straws and drink picks builds on the environmental sustainability programs we have in place… This is a meaningful step, and our commitment doesn’t stop with straws and drink picks. We will continue exploring viable alternatives everywhere we can,” he added.

Seattle Plastic Straw Ban

Seattle is now the first major U.S. city to ban single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service. The city has always been eco-conscious as environmental leader in the U.S., working to aggressively to thwart trash that goes into landfills by enacting more options that can be recycled or composted.

Seattle's 5,000 restaurants will now have to use reusable or compostable utensils, straws and cocktail picks, although the city is encouraging businesses to consider not providing straws altogether or switch to paper rather than compostable plastic straws.

Straws Are Not Just Bad for the Ocean

  • Bloating: Sipping from a straw introduces air into the digestive tract. This can cause uncomfortable digestive symptoms, such as gas and bloating.

  • Cavities: Drinking sugary or acidic beverages through a straw can send a concentrated stream of liquid toward a small area of the teeth, which can erode enamel and cause tooth decay.

  • Chemicals: Most single-use plastic straws are made from polypropylene, a type of plastic commonly made from petroleum. There is evidence that chemicals from polypropylene can leach into liquids and may release compounds that could affect estrogen levels, especially when exposed to heat, acidic beverages or UV light.

Maybe it’s all the Starbuck coffee we are drinking here at SeaStraws headquarters or maybe it’s just the excitement of this plastic-free movement heating up, but we are jittery to see more change in the near future. We encourage you to make a splash in this global conversation and tell us your thoughts, ideas, and words of inspiration by tagging @SeaStrawsCo with #PassOnPlastic on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Echo Chen