July 10, 2018 |

Restaurants are ditching plastic straws

By Denise Greer

plastic straw alternative, paper straw

Some restaurants have turned to paper straws.

Go inside the anti-plastic straw trend

Starbucks is the latest company to announce that the coffee giant will eliminate single-use plastic straws in all of its stores by 2020. That adds up to the elimination of more than one billion plastic straws per year. In Starbucks’ official release, President and CEO Kevin Johnson said, “For our partners and customers, this is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways.”

UK’s Pizza Express is the largest pizza sector restaurant chain to stop providing single-use plastic straws.

Could a plastic straw ban be coming to your city? Around the world, governments and municipalities have instituted plastics restrictions, citing environmental impact. Effective July 1, Seattle became the first major U.S. city to ban plastic straws and utensils. Half a dozen smaller cities in the U.S. have enacted plastic straw restrictions.  There are several proposals around the country to phase out plastic straws, including New York City and San Francisco.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, “Entourage” star Adrian Grenier and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson are among a growing list of celebrities to champion the cause.

Restaurants can’t simply ditch plastic straws without viable and economical options to replace them. What are some alternatives to plastic straws? Here are a few options to investigate:

  • Compostable drinking straws
  • Biodegradable paper straws
  • Bamboo or wood straws
  • Strawless lids

There are even reports of a restaurant giving out Twizzlers to sip drinks and another shop using edible pasta in lieu of a straw. Some restaurants have opted to stock reusable metal and glass straws for purchase.

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