Last Straw

Groups Work to Make U.S. Go Strawless




Daisy Daisy/Shutterstock.com

About 500 million plastic straws are discarded daily in America, reports the U.S. National Park Service. Plastic that reaches waterways is ingested by marine life and our food chain. Individuals and municipalities are taking action to support options, including going strawless.

The Last Plastic Straw, a project of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, has a worldwide map locator that pinpoints restaurants that have ceased using plastic straws.

• Milo Cress, who launched the Be Straw Free campaign in 2011 when he was 9, is again speaking to school students this fall, primarily via Skype. “It’s exciting to inspire them to know that they can do something in their community,” says the senior high school student in Shelburne, Vermont.

Strawfree.org, a Southern California volunteer-driven organization, offers kits that include bamboo straws, carrying holders and cleaning brushes.

• McDonald’s has announced it will transition from plastic to paper straws in its U.S., UK and Ireland restaurants beginning this year, and subsequently expand the switch to other countries.

• In May, New York City lawmakers introduced a bill banning plastic straws in all bars and restaurants in the Big Apple, and Seattle has banned the use of single-use plastic straws, thanks to the Strawless in Seattle movement. Eco-Cycle, Inc. and the Inland Ocean Coalition, both in Boulder, Colorado, are asking restaurants citywide not to use them. In July, Starbucks announced plans to eliminate straw use globally by 2020.

StrawlessOcean.org offers straw alternatives made of paper by Aardvark, steel and silicone by Klean Kanteen, metal by Steelys Drinkware and bamboo by StrawFree.

EcoWatch.com suggests, “Unlike metal or glass, soft and bendable silicone straws don’t clink your teeth, making them ideal for kids and straw-biters” and that such products made by Softy Straws work with hot drinks and withstand dishwashers. It also recommends wheat stems, corn bioplastic and bucatini pasta, a spaghetti-like noodle with a hole in the middle.


This article appears in the October 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Corporate Conscience

McDonald’s plans to lower its greenhouse gas emissions by 165 million tons in 12 years, and Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser beer plans to wholly rely on renewable sources for energy in seven years.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

Illinois Renewable Energy and Sustainable Lifestyle Fair

The 12th annual Illinois Renewable Energy and Sustainable Lifestyle Fair, will be held August 17 and 18 at the Ogle County Fairgrounds, in Oregon, Illinois.

Transcendental Meditation Book Signing Event

Dr. Norman Rosenthal, author of Transcendence, Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation, will conduct a book signing and lecture, September 5, at Chicago’s Gleacher Center.

Shred Unwanted Business and Public Documents Free

The Business Alliance for Sustainable Evanston (B.A.S.E) will offer a free shredding event in Evanston for businesses and consumers.

New Wellness Practice Opens in Highland Park

Joseph Starkman, DO, has opened a new practice, North Shore Osteopathic Healthcare, at 1732 1st Street, in Highland Park, located within North Suburban Wellness.

The Longevity Center

In a quest to discover a better way to screen women and men for breast problems than the standard mammogram, Tammy Leiner opened The Longevity Center, a company that offers thermography to detect abnormal breast conditions within doctor’s offices in seven states, including Illinois.

Know Your True Self Class Enrolling Now

Solful Gifts is offering its popular six-month Know Your True Self class that begins from 7 to 9:30 p.m., May 2, and continues on subsequent Tuesdays.