The awesome “no-straw policy” is reaching more and more bars and restaurants, making plastic straws less of a staple that they used to be – and less of a threat to the environment. This time, pub owners from Norwich, England decided to ditch straws to make a difference for the planet and they are encouraging more businesses to do the same.
The Last Plastic Straw campaign has traveled across borders and it was recently implemented by Mike Baxter, of Gonzo’s Team Room, Ben Thompson, landlord of the Plasterers Arms, and James Wingfield and Ella Williams, of North and Frank’s Bar, who are all inviting customers to see the benefits of the new system. The owners of these Norwich pubs have sourced biodegradable alternatives to normal plastic straws and convinced major wholesalers to stock them nationwide. However, they still need more venues to sign up to the project.
“It’s hugely wasteful,” said Thompson, as reported by Eastern Daily Press, “straws don’t biodegrade and generally speaking people don’t use them anyway so it’s really pointless. . . . Every single straw that you’ve ever been given in a drink still exists somewhere in the world, and these are things that just contribute to huge piles of waste that just float about in the middle of the ocean.”
It also turns out that cutting back on plastic straws is a cost-effective thing for the bar owners themselves – not surprisingly. “I realized if we do it we can actually save money while doing right by the environment – it would be naive to do anything else,” said Baxter. “You’re looking at straws and they cost a couple of quid per pack and you’re using 10, 20, 30 packs per week.”
To make a difference in one’s business is really quite simple – instead of giving out a straw as a default with every drink, it is enough to provide one only on request, swap plastic straws for ones made out of a reusable and/or biodegradable material, or get rid of them completely.
Every day, we produce 500 million straws in the U.S. alone and most of them will end up in the trash within half an hour or so of being used. What happens next is something we do not tend to think about – but really should, so that we understand that things like a plastic straw getting stuck in a sea turtle’s nose can happen. In fact, things like this happen all the time and a total of 700 different marine species are currently in danger of extinction thanks to plastic waste.
While we all wish we could travel to Norwich to enjoy these straw-free pubs, there are many things you can do to limit your personal plastic use in your town! To learn how to use less plastic in your everyday life, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
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