In a bid to help protect the world's oceans from becoming clogged with plastic, Aramark Corp. on Tuesday said it plans to reduce the use of disposable plastics across its global food-service operations.
In September, the Philadelphia company will begin phasing out plastic straws and stirrers in national parks, higher education residential dining, and select business dining locations. The goal in those locations is to eliminate their use entirely in those locations. The goal is 30 to 60 percent reduction in hundreds of K-12 schools, sports venues, and health care facilities.
The company projected that by 2020 it will have reduced its consumption of plastic straws by 60 percent, or by nearly 100 million straws. Straws will remain available on request for disabled individuals and others who need them.
Additional items, such as cutlery, bags, and other packaging materials, will be targeted through 2022, the company said.
An Aramark competitor, Bon Appétit Managment Co., announced in May that it will eliminate plastic straws at 1,000 locations in 33 states by September 2019.
Greenpeace USA praised Aramark for its comprehensive plan.
"Straw bans should be only one element of a comprehensive plan to phase out throwaway plastics, and Aramark has made it clear that it intends to go much further," said Greenpeace plastics campaigner Kate Melges.