On Friday, Shake Shack became the latest company to announce they would be doing away with plastic straws. According to CNBC, the beloved burger and shake joint — based out of New York — will eliminate disposable straws from all locations in early 2019.
Currently, Shake Shack has more than 150 locations in 13 countries.
Shake Shack’s announcement comes just days after the Walt Disney Company announced they would be removing single-use straws from all of their properties — including their theme parks, cruise ships and resorts — and less than a month after Starbucks made a similar announcement. (Disney hopes to have the straw ban in place by mid-2019, while Starbucks plans to remove straws from all 28,000 of their stores by 2020 — replacing them with new strawless lids.)
Companies like Shake Shack, Disney and Starbucks are choosing to do away with plastic straws because of their significant negative impact on the environment. According to the National Park Service, Americans use 500 million drinking straws every day. However, the elimination of said straws has not come without controversy. Many in the disabled community have been fighting for stores and restaurants to keep straws on hand. According to NPR, “for many people with disabilities, going without plastic straws isn’t a question of how much they care about dolphins or sea turtles; it can be a matter of life or death.”
While there’s no word on whether Shake Shack will make exceptions for those with disabilities, it is fairly safe to assume the chain will offer some sort of disability-friendly alternative — much like Starbucks and Disney.