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Calling all Pelhamites: banning plastic straws

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People in America go through 500 million straws daily. If Americans continue to use plastic straws that much there will be more plastic in the sea than fish.

So many people use plastic strawsrestaurants and businesses most of allbecause they are the best and most convenient compared to all of the alternatives. But that needs to change for the sake of marine life. It makes sense why businesses use plastic straws, because they can’t afford to lose business due to the lack of straws. This is especially true for small businesses. However, they can use other materials. For example, they could use paper straws, reusable plastic straws, glass, metal and even bamboo straws instead. There are so many more options!

Clayton Bushong, restaurant-owner and president of the Chamber of Commerce, likes the idea of banning plastic straws. Six or seven months ago he tried to eliminate plastic straws from his restaurant Cantina Lobos, testing four different alternatives. Unfortunately, all of the alternatives cost more than plastic straws and received complaints. So they went back to plastic straws.

Mr. Bushong wants to help the environment, but as a small business owner there is not much he can do. He is willing to influence other business owners to not use plastic straws or at least promote the movement to get rid of plastic straws. However, when it comes to what he can do about not having plastic straws in his own restaurant, his main focus is satisfying customers and maintaining business.

But Cantina Lobos is still taking steps to use fewer plastic straws. They are getting new menus that state if you want a straw you must ask for one, meaning they will not automatically give everyone a straw. Mr. Bushong also said he would start a kind of promotion. If someone voluntarily forgoes a straw then he will give them five cents off of their bill or some other kind of reward. Mr. Bushong will definitely try not to use plastic straws and will try to promote the idea of banning plastic straws to other business owners and people around town.

EcoPel and PEP are two organizations trying to ban plastic straws in Pelham. EcoPel said if you must have a straw then you can carry around your own reusable straw, such as reusable plastic, bamboo, stainless steel, titanium or glass straws. EcoPel and PEP both want to ban plastic straws, but they can’t do it by themselves.

Plastic straws are awful for the environment and must be eliminated. There are so many alternatives to plastic straws and people should try to use them. If people want to save the ocean and the animals that live in it, we are going to have to make some changes to our plastic straw habits. So let’s make a change!

About the Writer
Julia Kindig, Living Editor

My name is Julia Kindig. I will be in seventh grade at Pelham Middle School. I love to read, write, sail, dance, do gymnastics and play the flute. I have...

4 Comments

4 Responses to “Calling all Pelhamites: banning plastic straws”

  1. Tom Quatroni on September 12th, 2018 12:16 pm

    From USA today.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.usatoday.com/amp/797705002

    Straws equal 2000 tons of trash in oceans vs 9 million tons of total trash.

  2. Tom Imperato on September 12th, 2018 3:52 pm

    Another article on conservation that takes the tact that we need structural changes in our disposable economy.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/06/save-earth-disposable-coffee-cup-green

    While the above and the comment preceding this throw cold water on the effort, the real issue to my mind is reducing waste and how we as individuals can accomplish that goal.

    Thank you for a thoughtful piece.

  3. Peter Mullany on September 13th, 2018 10:03 pm

    Thanks Julia for calling attention to this matter. And it’s not only straws; plastic bags are another related problem. Awareness and education is key. And doing something instead of saying it’s a drop in a bucket about every effort to address it . We can all pitch in by requesting no straws upfront at restaurants and using reusable bags. Many municipalities have laws (bans and fees) governing use of plastic to confront this problem. Maybe that’s an idea for follow-up articles. Thanks!!

  4. Paul Mottola on September 14th, 2018 8:17 am

    Like most problems, this one has a sensible answer somewhere between zero and 500 Million. My mother is an invalid who must drink thru straws. Plastic straws are quite durable and re-usable, whereas paper ones don’t last thru a day and are unhygienic. So keep educating the public about reducing the use of all disposables; engage industry to create safer disposables; encourage proper recycling. Reduce. Re-use. Recycle. But please don’t call for an all-out ban on a useful and necessary product.

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