Goldman Sachs is banning plastic straws — and it's part of the firm's grand scheme to cut down on waste

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  • Goldman Sachs is joining other big US companies like Starbucks to ban plastic straws from its US offices.
  • The change comes as states like California have signed bills aimed at reducing straw waste.
  • Straw bans are just one small way to get people thinking about how to reduce their plastic use, say environmentalists.


Goldman Sachs bankers looking for a straw for their Diet Coke may have to look outside their office walls.

The investment bank joined Starbucks and American Airlines in doing away with plastic straws in the US, according to a memo sent to employees on Wednesday. Paper cups and plastic lids will also be removed from the firm’s pantries, with employees encouraged to use their own mugs.

The policy will go into effect on Oct. 29 at the firm’s New York, Jersey City, Dallas, Richardson and Salt Lake City offices, with the rest of the Americas offices enacting the change by the end of the year. The bank has already outlawed the waste in the Europe and Asia-Pacific regions.

Goldman already committed to eliminating all business waste from landfills by 2020, according to the memo, which was sent by Dino Fusco, the bank’s global head of corporate services and real estate, and Kyung-Ah Park, head of the environmental markets group.

In September, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a first-of-its-kind bill aimed at reducing straw waste in the state. Starting in 2019, sit-down restaurants in the state won’t serve any drinks with straws, unless customers ask for them. Starbucks has vowed to get its iconic green sippers completely off store shelves by 2020, while Seattle banned all plastic utensils, including straws, from bars and businesses city-wide in July.

Environmentalists say straw bans are just one small way to get people thinking about how to reduce their plastic use.

In 2015, plastic consumption worldwide totaled 300 million metric tonnes. That essentially means that for each one of the world’s 7.6 billion humans, we’re making 88 pounds of plastic a year.

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