Be Your Own Birder

Straws in the News

As you’ll recall, I made a resolution to go straw-free in 2018. One of the hardest things about many resolutions, why so many of them fail, is because there isn’t always a lot of support for the person making the lifestyle change, and without that support, it’s easy to slide into old habits and abandon the resolution. I’m fortunate that my husband supports this goal and has joined me in it, but what has also helped me maintain my dedication to avoiding straws is the worldwide movement to reduce straws. As I’ve been paying more attention to this issue, I’ve noticed an international community just as dedicated to minimizing straws, and every step helps birds and other wildlife.

  • Marriott properties in Great Britain have banned plastic straws from their bars and restaurants, and are offering customers who request one a paper or biodegradable alternative instead. (via The Evening Standard)
  • McDonald’s restaurants in the U.K. have moved straws behind the counter, requiring customers to ask rather than automatically be given one. The company is now replacing plastic straws with paper alternatives in those restaurants. (via Fox News)
  • Taiwan has announced a ban on all single-use plastic straws in a phased program, starting with eliminating restaurant straws, progressing to fees for take-out straws and eventually banning the items altogether by 2030. (via Hong Kong Free Press)
  • The Chicago White Sox has become the first Major League Baseball team to ban plastic straws at their games at Guaranteed Rate Field, instead offering guests who request a straw a paper straw instead. (via EcoWatch)

In stories too numerous to count, city councils, schools, restaurants and municipalities around the globe are phasing out straws or seeking to ban the distribution of single-use plastic straws (from restaurants, cafes, bars, etc.). This is incredibly encouraging, particularly to see the momentum being gained as this movement spreads. I’m thrilled at the 40+ straws I’ve so far not used in my day-to-day drinking choices, and even more thrilled to be offering my own energy to this global movement in a real and tangible way. This isn’t about saying “straws are bad” or hoping someone else comes up with a solution, this is about actually raising my hand to stop servers while I say “No straws, please!” and choosing not to pick one up if I get takeaway. It isn’t always easy, and I’ve had a few straws of shame where I’ve caved to pressure, convenience or simple laziness, and undoubtedly my lone efforts won’t make headlines. But that doesn’t matter – the birds do, and lowering my environmental impact, and helping promote conservation in a sustainable way anyone can make their own. Onward and upward to a suck-less life!

Rainbow of Straws

Rainbow of Straws – Photo by Horia Varlan

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