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8110 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA 22042

At Inova... It's the Last Straw for Plastic Straws

As part of our mission to Go Green at Inova, beginning in December, you will start to see signage in the cafeterias and other retail areas that Inova will be reducing plastic straws. As of now, this initiative is focused only on non-patient retail areas and will not interfere with patient care.

Why? Inova currently uses three million straws annually, which equates to about a mile of straws every day! This initiative is a part of a larger plan to reduce or eliminate other single use plastic items across the system including coffee stirrers, cups, etc. While an individual straw is only used for a few minutes, it takes a thousand years to fully break down. Because straws are so light, they are often times swept out of landfills where they can end up in our waterways and harm marine life. 

What changes will I see? As of now, the plastic straw reduction will be focused only on retail areas at the five main hospitals. The alternative straw will be a paper version that is very sturdy and will last 2-3 drinks. Plastic straws will still be available at the cashier stand for anyone who needs one but we are encouraging people to skip the straw all together if they are able. 

To learn more about ways to reduce your plastic usage, or your impact on the environment, visit our JustOne Campaign page and get involved!

Questions? Email the Office of Sustainability at

See our press release here.