CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago White Sox announced Thursday that they will stop using plastic straws at Guaranteed Rate Field, beginning on Earth Day Sunday.
The White Sox and their partners, Delaware North Sportservice, Gibson's ChiSox Bar & Grill and Levy, are joining Shedd Aquarium's "Shedd the Straw" initiative. Starting on the Sunday, April 22 game against the Houston Astros, drinks at all Guaranteed Rate Field concessions will not automatically be given plastic straws. Fans will be able to get biodegradable straws upon request.
The White Sox will become the first team in Major League Baseball to serve drinks during games without plastic straws for nearly the whole season.
"We are thrilled to team up with Shedd Aquarium and help lead by example in the way of sustainability within our gameday operations," said Brooks Boyer, White Sox senior vice president of sales and marketing. "We are honored to be the first ballpark to take the step of reducing our single-use plastic straws for nearly a full season, but we certainly hope that we will not be the last as there is more work to be done to protect our environment. The entire Guaranteed Rate Field family - the White Sox, Delaware North and Levy - is proud to collaborate with Shedd to share this important message with our fans and hope it will inspire others to do what they can in their own lives."
Plastic straws do not biodegrade naturally in the environment and by not using plastic straws, the White Sox say they expect to keep more than 215,000 straws from being used.
"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 Dr. Bridget Coughlin, president and CEO of Shedd Aquarium. "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."
Shedd Aquarium experts will be at Guaranteed Rate Field on Earth Day to share educational information with fans and offer giveaways.