The home of the Chicago White Sox is getting in on the latest way to save the planet.
Guaranteed Rate Field and the White Sox are taking the lead in greening up baseball by shedding the straws.
When patrons buy a soda at Guaranteed Rate Field, they will no longer be given a straw. This began at April 22 game against the Houston Astros. During the game, the video board featured statistics and facts about straw usage, water pollution, and the effects of plastics on the environment.
Saving the environment with a simple change
If you do want to have a straw with your soda, you will have to request one. Concessions stands will have biodegradable straws available.
At the April 22 game, Shedd Aquarium had a table set up behind right field with opportunities for fans to take photos with a turtle mascot. They also shared the #SheddtheStraw hashtag throughout the game. Fans could have their photos taken in a Shedd the Straw frame. Representatives from Shedd Aquarium also had games for young fans to play.
The first to remove straws
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According to an article by Colleen Kane with the Chicago Tribune, Guaranteed Rate Field is the first MLB park to remove single-use straws. Brooks Boyer from the White Sox organization said:
"“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.”"
As a fan in the stands during Sunday’s game, I did not hear anyone complain about not having straws. I did see some biodegradable straw – the paper variety. And, other fans were sipping their sodas without any problem.
Partnering with Shedd Aquarium
According to the Shedd Aquarium webpage dedicated to this initiative, Americans use 500 million straws every day. Since single-use straws do not biodegrade, every straw that has ever been used is still in existence.
Hopefully, other MLB teams will follow the White Sox lead and stop giving away single-use straws with every soda. Some parks already stopped giving lids, so it would only be natural to move on to straws.