Large companies are ditching millions of plastic straws thanks to a request by Shelby O'Neil, 17, a Girl Scout who formed a nonprofit to protect the ocean, The Washington Post reported.
After she launched the nonprofit Jr Ocean Guardians, O'Neil wrote several companies explaining why she thought they should reduce their use of plastic products, specifically plastic straws.
"Did you know that straws are one of the top ocean polluters?" O'Neil wrote in a letter to Dignity Health, a California-based health care provider. "Scientists are predicting by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish if we don't start making drastic changes with our plastic pollution."
Some companies did not respond to O'Neil's letters, but Alaska Airlines, Dignity Health and Farmer Brothers coffee all pledged to take action and reduce or eliminate use of plastic products.
According to USA Today, Alaska Airlines gave its passengers 22 million plastic stirrers and citrus picks in 2017. The airline will begin to make the switch to birch stirrers and bamboo citrus picks on July 16.
Read the full story here.