Let’s talk straws, plastic straws.
Picture this: you’re at a local food joint. You place your order and wait at the next window. Your food comes out and they hand you the drink. You go to the little table where they have napkins, lids and straws. But something is different, something isn’t there. You realize the lid looks
different, and straws are no where to be found.
Cities like Seattle, Miami, Berkeley and many others have banned the use of straws in the cities along with many other and a few that are waiting for approval. Big companies like Starbucks and Disney are working on reducing their plastic foot print by eliminating straws and even more restaurants, even locally are banning the use of those small plastic sticks we all use to drink out of.
Only about 9% of plastics used end up in recycling and the rest end up in landfill or our oceans. There is an iceberg named the Pacific Garbage Patch that floats 79,000 tons of plastic through the Pacific ocean.
So why are we starting with straws? Theres so many other forms of plastic like water bottles and tooth brushes but straws are small and can cause harm in ocean life. The most common is that they get stuck in sea turtles noses, causing them trouble with breathing.
Local businesses have joined to no straw movement. Tazikis in the Mountainlair now requires you to ask for a lid and straw and the Evansdale crossing now gives out lids that
do no require a straw. Although they seem like small steps they are helping with the bigger picture of reducing plastic from the oceans.
Some businesses are dealing with backlash to the movement. Marshalls Hall of Fame Cafe in Huntington eliminated straws this past summer. They experienced backlash from locals
who need to a straw to drink, due to disabilities.
Although plastic straws are disappearing, that doesn’t mean straws are gone forever. Reusable straws made from metal, hard plastic, and even bamboo can be found on amazon or in stores like Walmart for a very cheap price. Restaurants have started to give out paper straws and biodegradable straws are coming into the market.
So don’t think of this as an end to straws but rather a new beginning where our drinking tubes and sea turtles can live in harmony.