It's not just the straw....
The progression of news about plastic straws has spiraled to new heights in recent months. It is not just about the turtle anymore. Concerns with ocean plastic, city litter, non recycle-ability, and even toxicity, is an alert to the masses that single use plastic straws are on the way out. Reusable straws are now the super cool trend. The next step is to pack and carry, spurring the “bring your own” age. The practice includes reusable totes and baskets making a comeback from decades ago, an easy way to organize your supplies and tote your groceries.
Straws are in the news and many USA cities and states are considering policies that will change the behavior of many that rely on the conveniences of take out beverages. Once thought to be a Coastal Town issue, inland cities have joined concerns about plastic pollution. This cultural shift spurs thought and conversation about where our trash goes in the long term.
Many countries are leading the way on this topic, the USA is taking action as well:
2012 - Miami is the first USA city to ban plastic straws.
2017 - Santa Cruz, Calif. straw ordinance has local Starbucks and McDonalds serving beverages with paper straws.
Lonely Whale (.org) is instrumental in creating the “Strawless in Seattle” campaign, where the commitment for a whole city to go plastic straw free for one month is enacted, leading to a ban of plastic straws and utensils.
Malibu is right behind the trend with its own ban.
Chico State, the first CSU to go strawless!
The New York Times denounces the plastic straw as a part of the city’s ongoing culture.
The Chicago White Sox pioneer straw trends as the first MBA Team to ban plastic straws in their stadium.
The Boston Globe quotes Jackie Nunez who considers straws “the low growing fruit” when it comes to refusing single use plastics. “Straws are the gateway issue. It’s an easy thing to change. It’s tangible,” Nunez says.
The emails and reviews from the StrawSleeves community references customer habits and practices, with planet care the motivator. Most of these folks carry reusable water bottles (and have for many years) and barely give a thought to taking a reusable cup into a coffee shop for a fill. The straws and utensils are next to follow while favorite sets are acquired by these individuals who often roll up their supplies in a cloth napkin.
Once the news hits major cities that people are showing up in restaurants and requesting, “No straw please, I brought my own,” onlookers begin to take notice. The quest is for earth friendly conveniences and fashionable ways to accessorize daily habits like dining out. Search engines like Google are swarming with terms of reusable goods where many choices will quickly display. The real gift of this recent trend? A growing thought process of solution finders that will benefit many generations to come. And, a cleaner planet for all.