The City of Gulfport is challenging local bars and restaurants to “go strawless” this summer.
For a three-month period from July 1 to Sept. 30, businesses can participate by abstaining from giving plastic straws out unless requested by a customer.
Participating businesses will be spotlighted on the city’s website and social media efforts. Businesses that successfully complete the Strawless Summer Challenge will receive a photo spotlight on the city’s website for one year.
The Plastic Pollution Coalition claims,
” Each day, more than 500 million plastic straws are used and discarded in the U.S. alone. Plastic straws consistently make the top ten list of items found, according to Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup data. In the last three years, plastic straws have climbed the list to the Number 5 spot.
Cost is actually a non-issue: if businesses simply write on their menus “Straws served upon request” they will find 50-90 percent of their patrons will not ask for a straw. If you think about how many people actually have and use drinking straws at home, you start to get the picture of what is the real “need” for a drinking straw.
The Last Plastic Straw is not against drinking straws, we are against plastic for single-use, and the plastic drinking straw is the poster child for useless single-use plastic. If a business simply served straws upon request for those who need them, it would be cost savings, not only for the business, but for the community they do business in. Consider the savings in waste hauling, landfill, plastic in the environment, clean up, and the overall pollution that results in every stage of a plastic straws existence from manufacture, shipping, health toxicity, and waste.”