American Airlines to eliminate plastic straws from cabins, lounges

American Airlines to eliminate plastic straws from cabins, lounges
An American Airlines jet taxis below O'Hare's new Satellite South air traffic control tower on October 14, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.

NEW YORK - American Airlines on Tuesday (July 10) said it plans to no longer offer plastic straws and stir sticks in its lounges and onboard its flights, amid a broader global push to abandon one-time use plastics.

Starting this month, American said drinks in its airport lounges will no longer come with plastic utensils and will instead feature biodegradable straws and wooden stir sticks. The phase-out onboard its planes will begin in November, with plastic straws and stirrers to be replaced by environmentally friendly bamboo.

"We're cognizant of our impact on the environment and we remain committed to doing our part to sustain the planet for future generations of travellers," Jill Surdek, vice president of flight service, said in a statement.

The carrier will also transition to "eco-friendly" flatware in its lounges.

American said that the move will eliminate more than 71,000 pounds (32,200 kg) of plastic each year.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier joins rival Alaska Airlines, which announced in May its plans to replace plastic straws with more environmentally friendly alternatives.

On Monday, Starbucks Corp, the world's largest coffee chain, said it would no longer offer plastic straws at its 28,000 locations by 2020.

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