Did you know that every day, Americans throw away approximately 500 million plastic straws?
That’s 3.5 billion straws every week.
These little bits of plastic that we often disregard as minor are among the most common items found during beach clean-ups, according to conservationists cited in this Washington Post article. Straws can be ingested by animals or harm them in other ways, such as the sea turtle who suffered from a straw lodged in its nostril.
Plastic straws are also made of non-renewable petroleum and require energy to manufacture, yielding pollution in the form of particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions.
Fortunately, there’s an easy step event professionals can take to dramatically reduce pollution from plastic straws: Offer straws by request only.
Though there may be a few guests who strongly prefer to use a straw, the majority of guests will enjoy their drinks just as much without them.
To implement this practice at your events, first train catering staff and bartenders to not automatically place a straw in each beverage. (This may take some repeated reminders if the use of straws has been heavily ingrained.)
Then place subtle but noticeable signs at each bar stating that straws are available upon request. To educate your guests, these signs could even include a fact about plastic waste and why your event is choosing to minimize the use of straws.
Offering straws by request only will benefit your bottom line too, as you’ll need to purchase far fewer straws to meet the handful of requests at each event.
Restaurants, venues and caterers can publicly show their commitment to cutting down on straw usage by signing the Resolution to Reduce Straw Waste from Earth Charter Indiana.
Are you ready for your events to #StopSucking?