News, Announcements and Expert Commentary from Inova

Inova Health System to Eliminate Use of Plastic Straws

Will reduce use of single-use plastic items, offer straw alternatives for the disabled

Falls Church, VA – Today Inova announced it will eliminate plastic straws and reduce single-use plastic items in public areas, such as cafeterias and gift shops in all five hospitals in the system.  Inova, the largest health system in Northern Virginia, is leading sustainability efforts to contribute to a healthier environment.

Inova currently uses three million straws annually or a mile of straws every day. This initiative is part of Inova’s larger plan to reduce or eliminate all single-use plastic items including utensils, coffee stirrers, dishware and cups. Eliminating these plastic items will ensure that these items do not find their way into the waterways and pollute the Chesapeake Bay or surrounding areas.

“We are proud to be the first health system on the East Coast to eliminate plastic straws and look forward to partnering with our vendors to reduce unnecessary impact on the environment,” said J. Stephen Jones, MD, President and CEO, Inova.

“Inova recognizes that being a leader in healthcare means caring for our environment as well as our patients. We understand the health of our planet affects the health of our patients and community, and encourage others in our industry to join this endeavor.”

Inova is looking into environmentally friendly alternatives for products that cannot be completely eliminated. Straws continue to be an essential tool for disabled individuals and are available for patients and visitors who need them.

“Petrochemical plastics are polluting our oceans, clogging our rivers and filling up our landfills. Some plastics require toxic additives that can pollute our bodies when they are used,” according to Gary Cohen, President, Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth. “Inova is demonstrating great leadership in the health sector by banning the use of plastic straws and evaluating where else they can reduce their plastic waste. This announcement shows that Inova has a larger mission to heal communities and the environment in addition to providing quality care to its patients.”

The system-wide initiative will eliminate plastic straws from public areas, such as cafeteria settings with a target date of America Recycles Day on November 15.

Media Contact: Tracy Connell,, 703-289-2087


About Inova:

Inova is a global leader in personalized health, which leverages precision medicine together with more patient-centric services to predict, prevent and treat disease, enabling individuals to live longer, healthier lives. At Inova, we serve more than 2 million people each year from throughout the Washington, DC, metro area and beyond.

We are shaping the future of health through our integrated network of hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, emergency and urgent care centers, outpatient services and destination institutes.  Our commitment to health and wellness is further reflected in our sustainable practices. Inova is home to world-class researchers, expert medical specialists and renowned scientists, who are driving innovation to improve patient care, prevent disease and promote wellness. For more information, visit, or find Inova on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


  1. Alex S on July 31, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    This makes my heart so happy! Thank you, Inova for paving the way and making responsible decisions for a cleaner earth!

  2. Paula on July 31, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    Congratulations on being a leader! Caring for peoples health really includes caring for where we live. Sorry I don’t live near your care system, sounds great.

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