Delta Is Ditching Plastic Straws, Stirrers on Flights Next Year

California to limit use of plastic straws in restaurants
AFP/ JOEL SAGET

Delta Airlines decided to ditch the plastic straws and stirrers on all flights starting next year, in keeping with recent trends in the travel, hospitality, and restaurant industries to ditch plastic for paper.

Delta, the second-largest airline in the U.S, announced Wednesday it would stop providing plastic-wrapped amenity kits for international business class passengers, straws, and stirrers in its airline cabins beginning in mid-2019.

The airline said it already began cutting down on providing plastic in its airport lounges and since April, had been packaging plastic utensils served with coach-class meals in paper napkins instead of plastic.

Other airlines—including Alaska, American, and United—have already announced similar bans on plastic. Restaurants and hotels have also announced similar measures to ban plastic in efforts to be more environmentally friendly.

Starbucks announced in July it would ban all plastic straws from its stores by 2020, citing environmental threats to oceans, and Marriott International announced that same month it would get rid of plastic straws worldwide by July 2019.

Even though many major companies have chosen to ban plastic, some state and local governments have decided to impose the ban on local businesses.

The city of Seattle became the first city in the U.S. this July to bar restaurants from serving plastic utensils, straws, and stirrers to its customers, and Democrat California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a measure in September banning dine-in restaurants from automatically serving plastic straws with meals.

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