You can say it is the “last straw” for Alaska Airlines.

Recently, more and more environmentalists are making efforts to increase awareness of the pitfalls of using plastic drinking straws. The straws’ small size makes them unable to be recycled like other plastics. This causes them to end up in unsavory locations, such as landfills and bodies of water. Of course, an excessive build-up of straws causes long-term harm to the environment and upsets animals ecosystems.

To remedy this predicament, many companies have stopped using plastic straws. One airline, in particular, has taken it upon themselves to offer alternatives for straws that are less harmful to the environment. Alaska Airlines is the first U.S. carrier to do this.

Here is what you can expect with Alaska Airlines’ new policy.

Conde Nast Traveler reported that Alaska Airlines distributed 22 million plastic stir straws and citrus picks in 2017 alone. These drastic statistics certainly called for a reevaluation of airline procedures. Fortunately, Alaska Airlines is pioneering the way for other airlines to do the same. With their new policy in place, the airline will no longer dole out straws to their travelers.

Plastic Straws Airlines

In lieu of the plastic stir straws, Alaska Airlines plans to use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified, white birch stir sticks. Instead of citrus picks, they are offering a bamboo alternative. If you can’t go without a straw, fortunately, Alaska Airlines also has a non-plastic, environmentally safe straw.

These changes are beginning on July 16. Guests should expect to see less and less straw usage in both the frequent-flier lounges and on the flights.

Be sure to do your part for the environment and consider investing in a reusable straw for your beverages. Every less straw used means one less piece of plastic harming our world.

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