No Plastic Straws

Texas' Alamo Drafthouse joins avalanche against plastic straws

Texas' Alamo Drafthouse joins avalanche against plastic straws

Rendering of Alamo Drafthouse in Little Elm
Alamo gets on board with the plastic straws ban. Photo courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse DFW

The avalanche against plastic straws continues, this time via Texas' most famous movie house chain.

Alamo Drafthouse is changing its policy on plastic straws with two initiatives, according to a post on its website, as follows:

  1. Straws by request only. Servers will no longer automatically bring straws for sodas, tea, or water. If you want to destroy the planet and still get one, you can mention to your server or note it on your order card.
  2. Biodegradable straws. At roughly half of their 35 locations across the country, they're switching to a corn-based biodegradable straw by the end of July.

The blog post also directs readers to go to a write-up in the Hollywood Reporter for more information. Which is apparently a publication about movies and such.

A tangent here: Obviously, it is Alamo's choice where they want to hand off this plastic straws scoop. It's a little, shall we say, surprising that they would not choose CultureMap, which is not only Texas-based but also has a long and glorious history of reporting on plastic straw bans. Even the great Arizona-based Fox Restaurant Concepts announced their no-straws policy on CultureMap back in June, just sayin'.

The "roughly half" of their 35 locations that are embracing this new plastic straw policy are company-owned. The remaining locations are owned by franchisees.

Alamo is urging those franchisees to join the plastic straw initiative, and some have already agreed. Alamo is also preparing a white paper about its findings about straw use to distribution to franchise owners. Some might say that white paper is wasteful as well, though surely not as bad as plastic straws.

Alamo has already instituted the policy at its Denver location and seen impressive results, according to CEO Tim League. "Our Denver general manager first put the plan in place," League told the Reporter. "It cut straw usage significantly; it's about 75 percent down."

A note here: Unlike the Hollywood Reporter, which is indubitably a great place to break a scoop about straws, CultureMap would never put a semi-colon in the middle of a quote like that. It's kind of junky-looking, no?

League goes on to say that Alamo has an advantage over other theater chains on this initiative.

"A hurdle is that this has been a part of movie-going, but we are a little different," he says. "We don't have the super tanker sodas; we use more of a restaurant size, so it's a little easier."

Another semi-colon. Sigh.