You won’t be drinking your iced tea or margarita with a plastic straw at several San Diego restaurants anymore.
Numerous eateries have gotten rid of plastic straws, opting instead to use more costly paper straws or even charging customers extra for a stainless steel straw.
“When you order a glass of wine, you don’t need one, so why do you need one in a margarita?” said Mikey Knab, the operations director for Ponce’s, a Mexican restaurant in Kensington, told 10 News. And he has a pretty good point, but then I am a person who hates straws – especially the little stirrer ones they put in cocktails that if I don’t take out right away will probably poke me in the eye while I bring the glass to my lips – but that, my friend, is something to discuss another day.
Knab said he got rid of the plastic straws after seeing a video of a turtle with one of them stuck on its face. The restaurant now serves paper straws, which cost 12 times more than a plastic straw, instead. They do not charge customers extra. Meanwhile, Bar Pink in North Park charges customers a dollar for a stainless steel straw and Wheat and Water in La Jolla has gotten rid of straws altogether.
“Do you really need a straw to get your beverage down?” Wheat and Water founder Ted Cochrane asked The Union Tribune. “Not really, you can get by without it.”
Americans use over 500 million straws every day, according to the National Park Service. That’s enough to fill 125 school buses per day or enough to encircle the Earth two and a half times, notes the service.
And the movement seems to be growing as the Surfrider Foundation has a list of over 100 San Diego restaurants that only serve straws upon request.
And while a movement seems to be starting, a spokesman for the plastics industry says that there is no problem with straws.
“We can all agree that straws should not be littered. The vast majority of litter happens as the result of someone purposely littering. Whether the straw is made of paper or plastic, it should be disposed of responsibly. We need to think before we toss and invest in lasting solutions so that no plastic product, no matter how small or seemingly trivial, ends up where it shouldn’t,” Jacob Barron, a spokesman for the Plastics Industry Association, told 10 News in a statement.