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White Sox doing away with plastic straws at Guaranteed Rate Field

You'll no longer see many straws at Guaranteed Rate Field soon. | Erin Brown/Sun-Times

Buying a beverage at Guaranteed Rate Field will no longer come with a plastic straw starting on Earth Day, April 22, the White Sox announced Thursday. The move is part of an initiative with the Shedd Aquarium to help eliminate single-use straws from stadiums because of their negative impact on the environment.

“We are thrilled to team up with Shedd Aquarium and help lead by example in the way of sustainability within our game day operations,” said Brooks Boyer, White Sox senior vice president of sales and marketing, in a statement.

Starting with the April 22 game against the Astros, drinks at all locations in Guaranteed Rate Field will not automatically come with a straw anymore. Fans can still request a biodegradable straw if they’d like, but not giving straws to every person who buys a soda should significantly reduce the number of them used during games.

The initiative is “designed to help protect water systems and the animals that live in them by highlighting the dangers single-use plastic straws pose to aquatic life.” According to the Shedd Aquarium, Americans use more than 500 million straws every day, and many of them end up polluting aquatic environments because they cannot be easily recycled and don’t naturally break down.

“Earth Day is a moment each year for the world to stop and consider how we impact our planet and the ways we can protect it,” said Shedd Aquarium CEO Dr. Bridget Coughlin. “We commend the White Sox for helping us highlight small changes like ‘Shedding the Straw’ that can make a huge impact for the health of our oceans, lakes and rivers. We are proud to stand as a partner for organizations and individuals looking for ways they can help aquatic animals.”