Our Stories

​Making Straws Suck Less: A Restaurant-wide World Oceans Day Initiative

Back on Earth Day 2016, a simple graphic changed our group’s views on straw-consumption, leading us to reduce our carbon footprint by serving plastic straws on request only. Since adopting this “Straws on Request” Policy, we have saved nearly 3 million straws from being trashed.

Now, on World Ocean’s Day 2018, we’re excited to announce that we’re making straws suck a little less! Effective today, we have fully transitioned from providing plastic straws (on request only!) to paper straws at all of our locations.

After adopting a “Straws on Request” policy, swapping out plastic straws for paper was the next logical step in our efforts to reduce our waste production. But why the switch to paper?

While plastic is technically recyclable, plastic straws are much too lightweight to be sorted properly at recycling facilities. This ineffective disposal method, combined with human error, has led to about 80% of the 6.9 billion tons of plastic waste ever created ending up in landfills and the world's oceans. Once there these plastic straws get ingested by seabirds and turtles - so much so that they're on track to out-populate marine life. In fact, it’s been predicted that by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

While it may seem easy enough to skip out on straws altogether, some guests - and drinks - require straws. Luckily, more and more sustainable options are becoming available.

In our search for a more sustainable product, we came across paper straws. They're far more recyclable and far less harmless than plastic straws. Plus, they're a lot better looking, too! 

One of our locations, Beertown Waterloo, has taken the challenge to reduce waste to a whole new level! On top of switching over to paper straws on request or guests, Beertown Waterloo’s Beverage Manager, Mathew O’Hara, has ordered reusable metal straws to ensure that the bar team can still sample cocktails but without with the waste! Win-Win!

What steps are you taking to reduce single-use plastic waste? Let us know on Facebook and help us spread the message that #PaperIsTheNewPlastic by sharing the graphic below!  

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