Red Lobster announced it will begin offering plastic straws only upon request starting in November and will begin to replace plastic straws with an eco-friendly alternative straw by the end of 2020.
This commitment is expected to eliminate almost 150 million plastic straws per year from Red Lobster’s more than 700 restaurants and expands the company’s Seafood with Standards practices beyond sourcing traceable, sustainable and responsibly sourced seafood to include efforts to support healthy oceans, according to the company.
“We are proud to be the first large casual dining restaurant company to make a commitment to eliminate plastic straws from our restaurants,” said Kim Lopdrup, CEO of Red Lobster, in a statement. “This is a meaningful step in our longstanding 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.”
Red Lobster noted it is currently sourcing and testing a variety of eco-friendly alternative straw products. The company plans to engage advocates for people with disabilities to help inform the selection of a new product.
“We have a diverse guest base, so it’s important that we identify a straw product that accounts for that and meets a broad variety of guest needs,” added Lopdrup.