500 million straws are used and discarded every day in the United States alone. That’s 175 Billion a year filtering into landfills (environment) and littering our waterways and oceans. In Norfolk, the restaurant Press 636 is taking steps to reverse this trend. Owner Kiera Hill told Southside Daily that by only providing plastic straws when requested, coastal communities can significantly reduce the disposal of single use plastic, “Overall, it’s just better for the environment,” said Ms. Hill. “It’s not just the plastic straw, but the sleeve they come in. They’re unnecessary. Coastal restaurants especially should be more mindful of this.”
Plastic straws are dangerous to wildlife. Due to their small size, straws are often mistaken for food by animals and because of their cylindrical shape, straws can cause suffocation and death to the animal.
Should Eastern Shore restaurants ban plastic straws? Given our unique and critical location, as a coastal partner, it seems that local businesses need to be much more environmentally conscious, especially our fast food businesses. Here is a start:
-Provide a straw only when requested by a customer
-Provide either compostable or reusable straws
-Or get rid of straws completely
From London to Miami, restaurants, bars and cities are banning plastic straws voluntarily.