Beginning Monday, Oct. 1, all Los Angeles Lakers games and other events at Staples Center will have a bit of a different feel. The arena announced plans to remove single-use plastic straws in effort to reduce plastic pollution.
The initiative also extends to the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live, where the policy will take effect on Monday, Sept. 17. Both venues will no longer provide plastic straws to guests who order beverages that have traditionally been served with a single-use straw.
Paper straws will be provided to guests upon request. Doing away with single-use straws is expected to eliminate more than 500,000 plastic straws per year that have ended up in landfills.
A limited number of plastic straws will be available to guests with special needs. Staples Center, Microsoft Theater and Levy will partner to responsibly dispose of the single-use plastic straws at each venue.
Unused straws will be donated to organizations representing individuals with special needs that require the use of straws, or they will be recycled.
Lawmakers recently sent Governor Jerry Brown a measure that would make California the first state to ban full-service restaurants from providing single-use plastic straws unless they are requested by patrons.
Staples Center has regularly been at the forefront of operating responsibly. In 2010 they became the first arena to develop an Environmental Management System. Staples Center efforts also include utilizing solar panels that generate renewable energy, an LED sports lighting system, and waterless urinals.