Staples Center, Microsoft Theater Removing All Single-Use Plastic Straws

Staples Center
FG/Bauer-Griffin / GC Images
– Staples Center
in Los Angeles

Effective Oct. 1 at Staples Center and Sept. 17 at the adjacent Microsoft Theater, all single-use plastic straws will be removed from the AEG-owned Los Angeles venues alongside food and beverage partner Levy. 
Both venues will no longer provide straws to guests ordering beverages that typically would include the utensil. Upon request, paper straws will be provided, and plastic may be provided for those with special needs. 
“Staples Center and Microsoft Theater are eager to join the movement towards reducing plastic pollution. As home to four professional sports franchises, concerts, family shows, numerous award shows and other high profile events, our venues have a responsibility to lead the way in the sports and live entertainment industry by continuing to grow our best practices and stay environmentally conscious,” said Lee Zeidman, president of both L.A. Live venues. “As we continue to operate in the most environmentally conscious way, we also understand that recycling cannot be the only way to divert waste from landfills and finding eco-friendly alternatives at the source is equally important. By removing single-use plastic straws from our venue we continue our significant efforts towards environmental responsibility.”
The move away from single-use plastic straws is expected to remove more than 500,000 plastic straws a year from ending up in landfills. Most recently, California lawmakers on Thursday, Aug. 23, sent Gov. Jerry Brown a measure that supporters say would make California the first state to ban full-service restaurants from giving out single-use plastic straws unless customers request them. Democratic California Assemblyman Ian Calderon described his measure, AB1884, as a small step toward reducing plastic use and fighting pollution.
Staples Center has four shows coming up in early September for smash hit K-pop band BTS, which is embarking on its first major North American tour and announced it had sold out 40,000 tickets to Citi Field in New York. 
The straws currently in inventory at the venues will be responsibly disposed of, donated to organizations representing those with special needs, or recycled. 
Recent boxoffice reports include July 21 with Tim McGraw / Faith Hill, which sold out 11,812 tickets and grossed more than $800,000 and Pink May 31, which sold 17,047 tickets and grossed $2.35 million.
Microsoft Theatre reports include Katt Williams, with 6,883 tickets and $445,224 and grossed May 18 and the Martin Lawrence hosted Lit AF Tour (two shows) April 5-6 with 13,862 and $944,774.
In April Live Nation announced it would remove straws from its amphitheatres for the summer concert season, teaming with environmental organization The Lonely Whale.   Live Nation estimates this change will spare the use of over 3 million plastic straws at its amphitheater shows this summer. 
The adoption of the strawless program mirrors a larger trend mostly noticed at festivals to reduce waste in recent years, with major events like Glastonbury Festival in England pledging to get rid of plastic bottles entirely by 2019 and using steel cups onsite, and indie events such as the Air + Style festival in Los Angeles using paper water cartons rather than plastic bottles. 
Another indie festival aiming to reduce its carbon footprint is Levitate Music and Arts Festival in Marshfield, Mass, which released a sustainability report in 2017 that says its waste-reduction measures eliminated the need for more than 31,000 single-use water bottles on site. During 2017’s Levitate, nearly 4,000 gallons of water were pumped onsite through 12 water-filling stations where custom nalgene and steel water cups were provided.
“What’s really amazing is how much waste there would be if you weren’t making a diligent effort to conserve,” Levitate founder Daniel Hassett told Pollstar. “It’s cool because it’s a multi-front thing. You have to invest some time and effort and money in it to do it right but in reality it’s not only something that helps the environment and educates future generations but it’s actually, business wise, a good move. You end up saving quite a bit of money if you use less.” 
Hassett said festivalgoers are happy to partake. 
“You have to  wrap your head around it, have to invest some time and thought,” Hassett said of the waste-reduction plan. “And I get it when you’re a business moving fast and it’s hard to slow down and reassess how you do things. But it’s nice when something like that lines up with business interests as well.”