EarthX, is celebrating reducing the use of a million plastic straws, a significant milestone in the Strike Out Straws campaign that was launched at EarthX 2018 to eliminate the proliferation of single-use plastic straws. The Strike Out Straws movement has progressed through a combination of initiatives and with pledges from Studio Movie Grill and support from paper straw distributor, CircleTerra.
After EarthxFilm screened the film STRAWS at the corporate office of Studio Movie Grill, the chain chose to remove straws, except by request, from waters served to guests. Successful testing locally led the chain to remove single use plastic straws for waters chain-wide. The first month implemented, the effort saved 350,000 straws, and is projected to result in a savings of 4.2 million plastic straws and $27,000 annually.
“We are excited to align with EarthX in their effort to eliminate plastic straws and in support of the Strike Out Straws initiative,” added Janet Michaels, director of purchasing for Studio Movie Grill. “In doing so, we are grateful to be able to make a difference for our environment, while also directly improving our bottom line.”
Once discarded, single-use plastic straws, require more than 200 years to break down, adding to plastic debris in landfills. “This is just the beginning,” said Michael Cain, president and co-founder of EarthxFilm. “EarthX will continue to create awareness and encourage those around us to help make a significant impact on the environment.”
As Strike Out Straws continues towards its next million plastic straws saved, EarthX is also celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020 by working toward a goal of no single-use plastic and styrofoam to-go containers. Currently, it’s encouraging diners to Go NOCO Loco! by saying NO to plastic and Styrofoam Containers during DFW Restaurant Week running through September 1.
“Studio Movie Grill is a great example of how slight changes can lead to significant impacts,” continued Cain. “They weren’t in a position to say, ‘no more plastic straws ever’, but they were willing to say, ‘what if we just tried this one thing?’ This not only helped us reach the one million straws milestone, but the theater chain is also expecting to have reduced the use of single use plastic straws by 2.45 million by year-end. It’s one way EarthX is helping answer the SOS from our planet.”
CircleTerra owner Kelly Freeman, who serves on EarthX’s SOS Advisory Council, added, “More and more North Texas businesses are ready to make the change from single use plastic straws. It is exciting and humbling to be a part of the SOS movement.”
CircleTerra also made a generous donation of biodegradable paper straws, complementing the 200,000 paper straws EarthX committed for DFW Restaurant Week, during EarthX, and at its year-round events. In addition to Freeman, the SOS Advisory Council includes Christian Harper of the City of Fort Worth, Lindsey McNeny from Windows to the Wild, and VanDella Menifee, local educator and community activist. Linda Booker, whose film STRAWS inspired the campaign, also serves on the Council.
Some of the local Dallas businesses that took the EarthX Pledge to Strike Out Straws include:
Al Biernat's, Alinea, Asian Mint, Cindy’s Deli, Embassy Suites Denton, Houlihans Denton, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Snappy Salads, The Keg Steakhouse, and The Texas Theatre
Businesses and indivduals may join in the campaign and take the pledge at EarthX.org. More information on partnering with EarthX as well as ideas on how to reduce use of straws or plastic packagingis also available at Strike Out Straws or Go NOCO Loco!
EarthX convenes the world’s largest environmental expo, conference and film festival. Founded in 2011 as Earth Day Dallas by environmentalist and businessman Trammell S. Crow, the Texas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization promotes environmental awareness and impact through conscious business, nonpartisan collaboration and community-driven sustainable solutions. In 2019, the event drew over 177,000 attendees, 2,000 environmental leaders, exhibitors and 400 speakers.