Americans use an estimated half a billion straws a day! That is enough straw waste to wrap around the circumference of the earth 2.5 times. We use plastics for important things, like medical equipment, and for not-so-important things, like unnecessary packaging, or a straw for every single drink we order. Strawsare but one of our many "plastic habits,” which contribute to a profoundly negative environmental impact from plastic waste. The Sustainability Through Student Voices Conference team is launching a student-led initiative asking New York restaurants, businesses, schools, and individuals to join the national efforts to reduce and replace plastic straws. We are inviting students, teachers, "green teams," and all interested members of school communities to join us in a campaign to reduce and replace plastic straws in New York City.
FAQ's and Other Perspectives
Why it's not a 'ban.' Members of our communities who have allergies to metal, or need straws in order for foods to be accessible, have asked that the organizers behind the straw ban consider their unique concerns. This article explores how this issue played out in Seattle. How would you suggest anti-single-use plastics campaigns be more inclusive?
Why is reducing plastic straws important? Some argue that the plastic straw ban is either unnecessary or won't do enough to mitigate plastic use problems. This article explores these arguments. As you propose that members of your community consider leaving straws behind, could you respond to these criticisms? Practice having a mock argument with your green team members. What solutions can you come up with?
What's so bad about single-use plastics? Click here for a fact sheet from Earth Day Network.
How does reducing or replacing plastic straws benefit a business?
Cost savings from reduced straw orders.
It helps companies be regarded as socially responsible and conservation-minded.
Social media recognition! Through our channels, as well as campaigns like NYC's Give a Sip.
By the April 27, 2018 STSV Conference, we hope to compile a database of personal and institutional commitments to reducing or replacing plastic straws in NYC.
Make our own personal commitment to reduce or replace plastic straws
Encourage our friends and family to make personal commitments to reduce or replace plastic straws
Ask our schools to reduce or replace plastic straws. Contact our schools' food service providers - i.e. Cater to You, FLIK Dining - about this issue.
Our Community - Ask Our Local Businesses and Restaurants to:
Offer plastic straws on request only.
OR EVEN BETTER: Discontinue use of plastic - find viable alternatives made from paper or plant products.