Your City Can Go Straw-Free Like Seattle
Straws are one of the most common items found during beach cleanups. It’s not hard to understand why: Americans use over 500 million straws every day. And a large portion of those straws end up floating in the ocean’s giant garbage patches, or eaten by animals. An estimated 71% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have been found with plastics in their stomachs.
When it comes to plastic pollution, straws are low-hanging fruit: they’re usually offered by restaurants out of habit more than need. All we need is a cultural shift to reduce straw use and luckily, we’re already making progress.
In September, Seattle became the first major city to ban plastic straws. By next summer, the city won’t allow restaurants and other businesses to offer plastic straws to patrons. Many are already making the switch. The move in Seattle alone is expected to save as many as one million straws per month.
Banning plastic straws is a great idea for cities that have already seen much success banning and taxing plastic bags.
Seattle was supported in its new law by the environmental group Lonely Whale Foundation. Building on Seattle's example, Lonely Whale now wants to ban straws in other cities through its #StopSucking campaign.
Do you want to bring #StopSucking to your city? There are several ways to get involved.
First, place your vote for the next cities you want to see ban plastic straws.
Second, accept and challenge someone else to #stopsucking through social media. Visit Lonely Whale to learn how.
Third, get your favorite bar, restaurant, or coffee shop to #stopsucking by sending them this toolkit for managers.
At the very least, get in the habit of telling your server “No plastic straw, please!” before you order a beverage, And be ready to tell them why.
[ Outdoor Alliance for Kids awards four lawmakers and Paul Sanford of Wilderness Society for leadership in connecting kids with nature ]
For his longstanding leadership in efforts to protect outdoor recreation spaces and opportunities and for his efforts to connect young people to the outdoors, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) has been awarded the OAK Tree Award from the Outdoor Alliance for Kids (OAK).