North American airport restaurants and travel venues are eliminating plastic straws thanks to global restaurateur HMSHost. The company operates award-winning casual and quick-service dining locations at airports and motorways across North America. Approximately 100 million straws were used at HMSHost North American locations last year, but that will soon end. HMSHost announced the elimination of its plastic straw use by 2020.
“At HMSHost, we believe that each of us can start somewhere to make our world a better place. Today, I’m proud to further our commitment as good corporate citizens with the elimination of plastic straws by 2020,” said HMSHost President and CEO Steve Johnson in a statement. “Our position in this industry allows us to lead in the areas of sustainability and environmental protection. I encourage our industry peers to join us in this vital step to have a lasting impact for future generations.”
Americans use an average of 500 million drinking straws daily and more than 175 billion straws find their way into landfills and oceans every year. To meet the objective of ending plastic straw use, HMSHost will work with its expansive portfolio of restaurant brands to reduce waste and find sustainable, innovative alternatives.
HMSHost has already made strides in this sustainability area. Earlier this year, HMSHost began eliminating plastic cocktail stirrers in nearly all casual dining locations. HMSHost created two straw-free signature cocktails to raise awareness and further fuel the conversation on social media about the environmental impact of plastic straws and other single-use plastics, using the hashtag #NoStraws.