The Chicago White Sox have chosen to eliminate plastic straws from their ballpark for the rest of their season, making them a contender for Chicago’s most environmentally-conscious sporting franchise. This choice, the result of a partnership with the notorious straw-haters at the Shedd Aquarium, will probably make it more likely that fans will get some soda slopped down their backs this year. More importantly, it will probably also cause the planet to die just a little more slowly. That sounds morbid, yes, but really, it’s a good thing, and a sticky seat or two seems a small price to pay. We think it’s a real slam dunk.
The decision, as reported by NBC Chicago 5, means that concession stand workers will no longer automatically provide straws of any kind at Guaranteed Rate Field, though they will begrudgingly hand over biodegradable straws on request. That small concession to concession-purchasers should ensure that anyone who absolutely refuses to consume a carbonated beverage without a long skinny liquid chute can still sip merrily away, and can do so without any sort of straw-related guilt complex. If you care about the environment at all, you should be doing an end zone dance right about now!
The Sox estimate that their radical straw agenda will save more than 215,000 straws this season, which is a lot of straws. According to Shedd, Americans use approximately 500 million straws per day, while we as a planet dump roughly 19 billion tons of plastic in the ocean annually. Straws that don’t biodegrade are, the Shedd the Straw website helpfully notes, nearly impossible to recycle, so “it’s likely that every straw ever used still exists on our planet.”
That’s insane, and the White Sox organization is right to vehemently oppose straws and all they stand for. We applaud you, South Siders—now that’s a goooooooaaallll!!! worth scoring.