Alamo Drafthouse Leads U.S. Theater Chains In Eliminating Plastic Straws


Alamo Drafthouse is eliminating the use of plastic straws, leading other U.S. theater chains by doing so in the wake a growing groundswell to ban the drinking aid.


All of Alamo’s company-owned locations nationwide will discontinue use of plastic straws, replacing them with a corn-based biodegradable straw by the end of the month, CEO Tim League of the Austin, Texas, headquartered theater chain confirmed Tuesday. That represents about half of its 35 theaters, including locations in Austin; Kansas City; New York; Raleigh, North Carolina; San Antonio; and San Francisco.


Eliminating plastic straws will be combined with a program that is already in place across the chain, where straws are only available by request. “Our Denver general manager first put the plan in place. It cut straw usage significantly; it’s about 75 percent down,” League says.


Alamo will also urge its franchise-owners, making up the other half of Alamo locations, to take the same steps to eliminate the use of plastic straws, and a number of them have already agreed to the new policy. “This makes sense,” he says. “It’s the right thing to do for the environment. And while the biodegradable straws are more expensive, they will still see savings” because, coupled with the request-only program, there’s been a steep reduction in straw use. Alamo is also preparing a white paper about its findings about straw use to distribute to franchise owners.


Alamo’s new policy comes as Starbucks vowed on Monday to eliminate plastic straws from its stores nationwide by 2020, opting instead for an “adult sippy cup” style lid.


Earlier this month, Seattle became the first major U.S. city to ban plastic straws, a prohibition that includes cinema owners. Similar legislation could soon be proposed in major hubs including New York and Los Angeles, the two biggest moviegoing markets in the country.

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:  Disney
Follow us on Twitter @HighlightHwd or @LightfootinHwd