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Thunder Bay based campaign encourages residents to stop drinking their beverages through plastic straws

Date November 21, 2017 Author Lucy Robinson Categories News

Stop sucking drinks through straws. 

That's what some Thunder Bay bars and restaurants are encouraging their customers to do when at their businesses. As many as seven restaurants have signed up with Straws Suck Thunder Bay to vow to stop offering plastic drinking straws.

"Just noticing it and just coming to the realization that these things are kind of a relic from a more wasteful time when it's more about convenience and not worrying about the consequences," said Stephen Slattery,  the creator of Straws Suck Thunder Bay and a bartender at the The Sovereign Room. "That logic didn't stick with me. I couldn't be in good faith using single straws for every drink and people just throw them on the ground."

The Sovereign Room was one of the first places in Thunder Bay to stop offering plastic drinking straws and have implemented an "ask policy" where they can offer a paper straw.  

The elimination of plastic drinking straws is part of a global trend. A viral video of a plastic straw being pulled from a turtles nostril sparked outrage in 2015 and kicked off many campaigns. Places like Tofino, B.C. had their own straws suck campaign held by The Pacific Rim chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. About 40 business said they would stop offering the item and the town tried to place a municipal bylaw to ban plastic drinking straws. That move was ultimately rejected by council.

The city of Seattle created an ordinance on plastic items such as straws and take-out utensils in 2008. That will come into effect July 2018, according to The Seattle Times. The United States National Parks Services website says that 500 million straws are used a day in America. Which they say is enough to fill 125 school busses.

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