Do you #refusethestraw?
That’s the challenge that’s making the rounds on social media in an effort to reduce plastic waste: when you’re at a restaurant, ask them to leave out the plastic straw.
But some restaurants are doing their part already by not serving drinks with straws unless requested, or foregoing them altogether. Moose Delaney’s Sports Bar & Grill is one of them.
A few of the staff members at Moose Delaney’s brought the initiative to the attention of owner Dan Barkwell. He did some research and discovered the amount of waste generated by straws alone.
“I watched a video on stuff that’s in the ocean and I thought, ‘it’s crazy’, so I said let’s do it,” says Barkwell. They tried it out on their wing night, the busiest night of the week. “The bartender had not one person ask for a straw. We didn’t give any out.”
The bar will continue to offer straws to those who ask for them, but Barkwell has spoken to his food reps and has identified a biodegradable option that he’ll be ordering from now on.
Other local restaurants have jumped on board, too—some had already quietly made the commitment, others responded to a challenge by resident, Erin Monett, to follow Moose Delaney’s lead.
After reading Barkwell’s Instagram post that Moose Delaney’s would stop automatically including straws in drinks, and seeing the comments people were making, Monett says she thought ‘here we go, this is gaining momentum.’ So she shared it on her own Facebook feed and tagged a handful of local restaurants, challenging them to do the same.
“At first I tagged I think five or seven restaurants and I thought, ‘this is so many, it’s a little bit ambitious,’ but the response right away was, ‘yeah, absolutely, we’re in,'” said Monett. So I got braver and I tagged more and more.”
So far, Monett says those who have committed to stop using straws include Cast Iron Restaurant in Baysville, The Family Place Restaurant, Grandview Golf Club, Main St. Local Kitchen, Mill on Main, Moose Delaney’s Sports Bar & Grill, On The Docks Pub, That Little Place By The Lights, and The Taco Stop.
She hopes that others will join the movement, too, particularly larger resorts and chains like Deerhurst Resort, McDonald’s and Tim Horton’s.
“I never want to use a plastic straw ever again in my life,” says Monett, adding that her family has been using metal straws at home for years. “It is something that has bothered me for a really long time and I feel like it’s just too common, too regular, it was automatic… I’m the one that’s telling everybody when we go out to restaurants, no straws for the whole table. I’m that person.”
It appears that other people are becoming that person, too, and Monett couldn’t be more delighted. “When I started to see actual restaurants in my town acting on it, I was like, this is going to happen.”
If you know of other local restaurants that have made a commitment to #refusethestraw, tell us about them in the comments below.
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