Did you know that Americans use up to 500 million plastic straws per day? That’s enough straws to wrap around planet earth 2.5 times. And most plastic straws are non-recyclable, non-biodegradable, and end up in our oceans, polluting the water and harming sea life.
The good news is that people are becoming aware of the negative impact single-use plastic has on our oceans and environment, and there is a growing movement to make a change. Many cities across the U.S. have banned plastic straws altogether, including Seattle and Edmonds in Washington; Alameda, Carmel, San Luis Obispo, Davis, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Oakland, Richmond, and Berkeley in California; Monmoth Beach in New Jersey; Miami Beach and Fort Myers in Florida; and New York City, Hawaii, and California all have pending straw ban legislation.
Other institutions have also gotten on board, such as Bon Appétit, a large food service company that recently announced it is getting rid of plastic straws in all 1,000 of its cafes across 33 states, including locations like AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Getty Museum, Vassar College, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Portland in Oregon.
In addition to more widespread policy banning plastic straws, many restaurants and food service organizations are enacting a straws-on-request policy, which is a start.