Companies That Care: Going Plastic Straw Free
See who’s taking strides to ditch plastic straws — or straws entirely! — around the country and learn how you can help, too.
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If every person gave up plastic straws for one month, did you know it would help keep nearly 50 straws out of the ocean? Imagine if two of your friends joined you in going strawless, or perhaps your whole family, workplace, or school. The key to fighting plastic pollution: finding power in numbers. Thanks to various national conservation and eco-advocacy groups, here are just some of the restaurants, hotels, and even national parks striving to go say no to single-use plastic straws:
Louisville-based hospitality brand, 21c Museum Hotels are on a mission to reduce waste by cutting out 735,000 straws a year. The #StopSucking initiative, part of environmental non-profit Lonely Whale's global campaign, has already help nine of the group's restaurants eliminate straws entirely. Instead, they're opting to offer guests paper (biodegradable!) straws only upon request and are striving to find more ways to limit single-use plastics on their properties in 2018.
With the San Diego Surfrider Foundation's Ocean Friendly Restaurants campaign, 100 local eateries all pledged to follow proper recycling practices, nix Styrofoam containers, and only offer single-use plastic utensils for take-out orders upon request. Many of them are also offering straws only upon request and refraining from selling beverages in plastic bottles.
As of this July, approximately 3,100 cafes, restaurants, and concession spots around Seattle will be skipping single-use straws and disposable cutlery thanks to a city-wide ban (making Seattle the largest metropolitan city to nix single-use plastic straws!) In collaboration with the Lonely Whale foundation, the city's most recent "Strawless in Seattle" campaign helped spots like the Seattle Aquarium, CenturyLink and Safeco Fields, and the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport among many others keep 2.3 million plastic straws out of landfills. You can even vote for your city -- Dallas, Atlanta, and New York are just a few in the running! - to join the Strawless Ocean 2018 tour here.
National nature hubs like the Rocky Mountain National Park, the Grand Canyon, and others are also urging visitors to think twice about using straws at their concession stands, thanks to Xanterra Parks & Resort, the concession company that works with the National Park Service.
Planning your summer vacation already? Now, you can travel sustainably knowing that tourist favorites like Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom and all the Smithsonian Institution museums ban single-use straws throughout their concession areas. And if you're scoping out local spots across the country (and even the globe!), The Last Plastic Straw, an initiative under the Plastic Pollution Coalition, keeps a restaurant directory of eateries from California to Rhode Island that are taking efforts to skip the straw.
Want to get your favorite restaurant on board with skipping plastic straws? Learn how to here.