My personal straw poll

A recent article reported cruise lines are cutting back on their use of single-use plastics to lower their trash output. They know 500 million plastic straws are tossed daily in the US alone, and much of it ends up in the ocean choking birds and animals.

Activists have long worked to cure America of this habit. A 2015 video of a sea turtle with a straw stuck in its nose went viral.

Cruise lines must be good stewards of the oceans, and there’s an increasing focus on 5.25 trillion+ pieces of plastic waste in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. From a public relations perspective alone, ship owners NEED to cut back on plastic use.

Plastic straws, bottles, and bags take decades to degrade, harming marine life and becoming unsightly litter. The cruise companies’ dilemma: paper straws cost twice as much, plus there’s inadequate supply.

Not to be outdone, Starbucks, McDonalds, and Disney have announced they’ll transition from plastic straws and stirrers to versions made of paper, bamboo, and other sustainable materials.

But there’s a challenge. Johnny Rockets, known for great shakes, finds paper straws collapse when drinking milkshakes, resulting in unhappy customers.

And what happens when there’s a serious dialogue about plastic water bottles?

To temporarily work around the challenge, Stone Brewery, Swami’s, and others now only give you a straw if you request one.

But as Kermit the Frog observed: “It’s not easy being green.”

These large corporations are responding to consumer pressure for environmental consciousness. Business is business, and getting customers to buy and return is a never-ending motivation.

Soon all multinationals will strive to overcome customer suspicions regarding their commitment to the interconnectivity of the global environment. Regardless of what you sell, you must do the same.

Your company’s environmental footprint will increasingly be the critical, deciding factor in whether someone buys from you. Consider what you can do to be more environmentally friendly, including instituting recycling efforts, purchasing renewable products, and using hybrid vehicles for your company fleet.

Need a quick boost to sales? Donate a portion of every purchase to helping the World Wildlife Fund.

Because customers are awake to the threats we all face. Gradually, companies not being environmentally responsible will find sales shifting to competitors who are doing the right thing.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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