Chicago White Sox Make Guaranteed Rate Field Straw-Free for the Season

White Sox Team Up with Shedd Aquarium to Become the First MLB Team, First Chicago Sports Team to Reduce Single-Use Plastic Straws for the Season

The Chicago White Sox, along with concessionaire partners, Delaware North Sportservice, Gibson’s ChiSox Bar & Grill and Levy, are joining Shedd Aquarium’s “Shedd The Straw” initiative to reduce the use of single-use plastic straws at Guaranteed Rate Field. The White Sox will become the first team in Major League Baseball to serve drinks during games without an accompanying plastic straw for nearly an entire season.

Beginning Earth Day on Sunday, April 22 vs. Houston, drinks at all locations throughout Guaranteed Rate Field – including concessions, premium seating areas as well as ChiSox Bar & Grill – will not be automatically served with plastic straws. Guests will be provided biodegradable straws upon request.

The initiative 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. Americans use more than 500 million straws every day – equivalent to 913,000 trips around the bases – and millions of those non-recyclable plastics end up polluting oceans, lakes and rivers.

“We are thrilled to team up with Shedd Aquarium and help lead by example in the way of sustainability within our gameday operations,” said Brooks Boyer, White Sox senior vice president of sales and marketing. “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.”

Plastic straws do not biodegrade naturally in the environment and are nearly impossible to recycle. That means every straw ever used on the planet still exists, although they may have broken down into smaller pieces of plastic. By eliminating plastic straws this season, the White Sox and their hospitality partners expect to keep more than 215,000 straws from being used. Because most straw-users trash their plastic straws when done, that means every straw saved will not end up in the trash, where they are most likely to be flushed into our waterways. 

“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,” said Dr. Bridget Coughlin, president and CEO of 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, lakes and rivers. We are proud to stand as a partner and resource for organizations and individuals looking for ways they can help aquatic animals.”

#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, sharing educational information with fans as well as offering giveaways. Fans can join the effort at the ballpark on Earth Day through a special ticket offer, making discounted tickets available at whitesox.com/shedd.

Editor’s Note: For additional information, please contact Sheena Quinn in the White Sox public relations department at (312) 674-5304 or Squinn@chisox.com or Nicole Minadeo in the Shedd Aquarium public relations department at (419) 308-4846 or Nminadeo@sheddaquarium.org.

Media Credentials: Media interested in covering the event should apply for a credential on the MLB credential site (credentials.mlb.com). If you have questions about credentials, contact Hannah Sundwall in the White Sox media relations department at Hsundwall@chisox.com or (312) 674-5300.

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