Skip the Straw
500 million straws, including stirrers, are used and discarded every day in the USA alone. That’s over 180 billion a year being dumped into landfills and littering our waterways and oceans.
What’s more, plastic straws and stirrers are used for a few minutes at best, yet take hundreds of years to degrade; when they do degrade, they break down into microplastics, which has been found in everything from fish to table salt to bottled water.
Plastic straws and stirrers are not recyclable.
WHAT CAN I DO?
When you are ordering a beverage, simply request “no straw” wherever you eat in or take out, and share your commitment with others.
Encourage your employer to replace plastic straws with paper ones and to replace coffee stirrers with bamboo or wood. Take this step further: Request that kitchens/cafeterias are stocked with reusable items such as mugs, cups, utensils, and plates.
DO MORE by USING LESS: less consumption, less waste, fewer straws. It’s a win for Norwalk, our planet and for future generations.
WHAT CAN MY BUSINESS DO?
If you own a restaurant, diner, deli, snack bar, or other food service establishment:
Eliminate plastic straws completely* and provide paper straws on request. By offering straws only on request, your straw consumption will be reduced by 40%, offsetting the cost of paper straws. “Only on request” will also save you money if you reduce use overall. *Please keep a few plastic straws on hand for our friends in the special-needs community.
Replace plastic cocktail and coffee stirrers with eco-friendly options such as bamboo.
Straws claiming to be Biodegradable and compostable are neither compostable nor recyclable.
Items marketed as “compostable” are designed to be composted in a special industrial composting facility, which isn’t available in Norwalk. So, corn-based “bioplastics” such as straws and other items designated “compostable” must be thrown in the trash like some other types of plastic, where they are incinerated. Avoid compostables.
WHAT SHOULD I USE INSTEAD OF PLASTIC STRAWS?
For information on straws and sustainable alternatives including paper, bamboo and glass click here.