In 2011 a 9-year old Vermont native told the Natural Resources and Energy Committee of the Vermont Legislature about the problem of environmental waste associated with straws – not the kind from end of life cash crops but the kind from your friendly neighbourhood restaurant. Milo Cress worked out that between ages 5 and 65 the average American uses 40-thousand straws and that each day Americans use 500 million drinking straws – enough to fill over 46,400 large school buses each year.
Cress reckoned that the wastage of straws could be substantially reduced if restaurants only provided straws to those who specifically requested one. So he launched a campaign in his home community and from there the campaign has grown to include numerous restaurants across the USA. One of the latest to join is the 320 restaurant chain Texas Roadhouse.
Now the campaign has been picked up by the Colorado-based non-profit recycler Eco-Cycle, one of the largest non-profit recyclers in the USA.
Eco-Cycle says “Learn more and join our efforts!”. You can do the former at http://www.ecocycle.org/bestrawfree and the latter, if you are a business, by supplying straws only on request and, if you are a consumer, by telling restaurants that you would like your cold beverage to be provided without a straw, please and for the environment.