Say farewell to sipping your green juice through a plastic straw, as Whole Foods is finally ditching the much-maligned drinking tool.
Whole Foods announced yesterday that the brand will get rid of plastic straws from all its stores in the US, UK, and Canada by July 2019.
This comes after the grocer introduced smaller produce bags that use less plastic, as part of Whole Foods’ attempts to be more environmentally friendly.
They’ve already scrapped plastic bags at checkouts and polystyrene meat trays, and offer salad boxes made of compostable materials.
They estimate that the ban on straws and the change to produce bags will reduce 800,000lbs of plastic each year. Which is quite a bit, really.
By July 2019, all Whole Foods Market shops will no longer have plastic straws as the go-to option in their juice bars, coffee bars, and cafes.
If you ask for a straw, you’ll be given a recyclable and compostable paper straw, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Those with disabilities will still be able to access plastic straws from the stores’ bars and cafes, however. This is a crucial consideration – for many, a plastic straw is essential, meaning the calls for universal bans feel exclusionary.
Makeup artist Lyndsey told Metro.co.uk: ‘I shake a lot and have really weak wrist and hands, so most days holding a cup on my own is painful. I remember a few months ago I was bedbound for a week and a half from a flare, and I couldn’t even sit up to drink my medicine.
‘I needed straws – specifically plastic, bendable straws.’
Whole Foods plans to take more action to make their stores more eco-friendly – although we’re not sure what moves are next.
Whole Foods Market’s president and chief merchandising officer, A.C. Gallo, said in a statement: ‘For almost 40 years, caring for the environment has been central to our mission and how we operate.
‘We recognize that single-use plastics are a concern for many of our customers, Team Members and suppliers, and we’re proud of these packaging changes, which will eliminate an estimated 800,000 pounds of plastics annually.
‘We will continue to look for additional opportunities to further reduce plastic across our stores.’
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