The Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) announced a ban on all straws during a sustainability presentation at the National League of Cities (NLC) City Summit on November 9, 2018.
The United States uses over 500 million plastic straws every day; most of which end up polluting oceans and killing marine life. The LACC, in partnership with in-house caterer Taste of LA by Levy Restaurants, will cease the use of 250,000 straws annually to protect the planet.
Paper straws will be used only for blended coffee beverages until other solutions are accessible. Paper straws will also be available for those with ADA requirements.
Matthew Brown, General Manager of Taste of LA at the LACC, said: “One of the best ways to reduce our carbon footprint is by removing waste wherever possible. Our goal has been to function 100 percent straw-free. One year ago, we eliminated straws from catering, which serves as 80 percent of our business; removing straws from our cafes and kiosks was the last piece of the puzzle.”
The LACC has recently implemented additional sustainability initiatives. In August, the facility upgraded to water and energy efficient dishwashers, saving an estimated 1.3 million gallons of water annually.
Last month, the LACC started a project replacing 330 faucets in guest restrooms; 0.5 gallon per minute (GPM) faucets are being upgraded to 0.35 GPM units, which will save approximately 415,000 gallons of water annually.
“Environmental sustainability is embedded in the LACC’s culture and permeates every aspect of our day-to-day operations,” said Ellen Schwartz, General Manager of the LACC. “It is exciting to continually launch new initiatives at events like NLC City Summit that impact communities all over the country.”