There is a growing movement looking to ban the plastic straw and it’s gaining momentum online with the hashtag #Straws Suck.
There is a campaign underway in Peterborough with advocates asking, “Do you really need a straw with that drink?” to eliminate the use of this one-time-use product.
“The trouble with straws is they aren’t recyclable and the problem is, they are made from a plastic that will never go away,” said Kristen LaRocque, resource centre co-ordinator at the Green Up store on Aylmer Street in downtown Peterborough.
Currently their biggest seller is the reusable straw — in fact, they can barely keep enough of them on their shelves.
“Some of our four-pack straws made by Onyx sell out often and in fact, we’re out of all of their sizes right now,” she said.
Of all the utensils we use to consume food and drink, straws might be the most useless, says Jessica Carrera, founder of Random Acts of Green, who wants to see people starting to refuse straws in their drinks.
“It’s time that we start thinking differently about why are we using these single-use plastic items, and the reason for this is because there are 500 million straws used in North America and the average straw life is four minutes.”
There are alternatives to the single-use plastic straw but Carrera suggests that consumers need to speak up and say ‘No’ to straws before they arrive with their drinks.
“Most people don’t even ask for a straw — it’s just automatically given so we kind of have to train the people to think we don’t really need a straw,” she said. “It’s one of those things we’re just using because it’s given to us.”
When you stop and look, straws are everywhere and used in all kinds of drinks from fountain pop to cold coffee drinks and smoothies.
The #Straws Suck campaign asks consumers and food providers to just say “No,” when it comes to this plastic add-on.