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Plastic straws

Many bars and cafes put plastic straws in every drink. Reduce plastic waste and protect wildlife by requesting your drink without a plastic straw, and bringing your own reusable alternative.

What you can do

Choose to refuse single-use plastic straws.

How can you do it

If you’re able to, request your cold drink is made without a single-use plastic straw. It’s important that you state this before your drink is made; if the straw is already in there when it’s brought to you, it’ll likely become plastic waste anyway.

For those with accessibility issues or who prefer straws, you can also bring your own sustainable alternatives. There are stainless steel, bamboo, and glass options available on the market, and even foldable reusable straws that you can easily keep in your purse or pocket.

Taking the next steps

Going beyond refusing single-use straws, you can also encourage and support businesses to only provide straws when requested, rather than as a default. Some cafes and restaurants find it helps to put up a poster to let customers know about their efforts to reduce plastic straws.

You can also encourage schools, day care centres, and other child-minding communities you may be involved with to rethink the use of plastic straws in arts and crafts.

The impact

  • Single-use straws are used for a few minutes then discarded, where they’ll remain in the environment indefinitely
  • They are lightweight and easily blown down drains and into waterways, rivers and oceans
  • Straws can become stuck in the airways of animals, or if mistaken for food and ingested can be fatal
  • Together, we can get straws out of the top 10 list of items collected in beach cleanups

More ideas

What others do

Glass of lemonade, bunch of straws and a plastic juice bottle

To find plastic free ideas, take the Plastic Free July challenge

Reusable carry bag, keep cups and bamboo cutlery
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