(AP) — American Airlines says it will stop using plastic straws and drink stirs and replace them with biodegradable alternatives.
American said Tuesday that starting this month in its airport lounges it will serve drinks with straw and wood stir sticks and begin moving to what it called eco-friendly flatware.
American, the world's biggest airline, said that in November on board planes it will replace plastic stir sticks with ones made from bamboo. The airline said the moves will eliminate more than 71,000 pounds of plastic a year.
Alaska Airlines, the fifth-largest U.S. carrier, said in May that it would phase out plastic straws and citrus picks starting this summer and replace them with "sustainable, marine-friendly alternatives." Larger U.S. airlines—Delta, United, and Southwest—still use plastic straws, according to representatives of those carriers.
Some cities have banned plastic straws because they are often not recycled and wind up as trash in landfills and oceans.
Starbucks and other food companies have recently announced they will phase out plastic straws and polystyrene foam cups from their stores by 2020.
Hotels are making similar moves. Hyatt Hotels Corp. said this week it will eliminate plastic straws and drink stirs from all its properties by Sept. 1. Hyatt said it will provide straws by request only, and will use environmentally friendly alternatives where they're available.
Hilton Hotels also said it will remove straws from the 650 properties it manages by the end of 2018. Hilton estimates that move will eliminate more than 35 million straws each year.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)