Whole Foods banning plastic straws

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Starting this summer, plastic straws will be banned in all Whole Foods stores in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.

Officials with the retail chain made the announcement on Monday. They said stores will also start using smaller produce bags to help cut down on waste. 

This is not the first time the company has made changes to become more environmentally friendly. Back in 2008, they stopped offering disposable plastic bags. They now offer paper bags instead, but do sell reusable plastic bags.

Related: Plastic bags, straws ban approved by Stonington community

The new plastic straw ban will go into effect in July. Paper straws will be offered with frozen drinks or by request. Plastic straws will still be available by request for customers who have disabilities.

Other companies like Starbucks, Disney and McDonalds have also recently announced plans to move away from using single-use plastic straws. But Whole Foods says it’s the first national grocery chain to take this step.

According to a statement from Whole Foods, the changes going into effect this summer will reduce an estimated 800,000 pounds of plastic per year.

Related: Kids tell state lawmakers; ban the bag!

A report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation says plastics will outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050.

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