Chicago (CBS) – The Chicago White Sox are teaming up with the Shedd Aquarium to become the first MLB team and first Chicago sports team to reduce single-use plastic straws for the season.  It’s part of the Shedd Aquarium’s “Shed the Straw” initiative to reduce the use of plastic straws at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The White Sox will become the first team in Major League Baseball to serve drinks during games without a plastic straw for nearly an entire season.

Drinks at all locations throughout Guaranteed Rate Field, including concessions, premium seating areas, as well as ChiSox Bar & Grill will not automatically provide customers with plastic straws in their drinks beginning on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22. Guests will be provided with biodegradable straws upon request.

The initative 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, which is an equivalent to 913,000 trips around the bases. Millions of those non-recyclable plastics end up polluting oceans, lakes, and rivers.

“We are thrilled to team up with the Shedd Aquarium to help lead by example in the way of sustainability within our game day operations,” Brooks Boyer, White Sox Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing said in a press release. “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.”

By eliminating plastic straws this game season, the White Sox and their hospitality partners 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,” explains Dr. Bridget Coughlin, President and CEO of the 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.”

#SheddTheStraw began last year on Earth Day when Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium launched its campaign encouraging people to switch from single-use disposable straws to reusable or biodegradable alternatives.

Shedd experts will be at Guaranteed Rate Field on Earth Day to provide educational information with fans, as well as offer giveaways.

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