Seattle’s Been Sleepless, Now It Goes Strawless

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September is the month Seattle stops sucking. At least, that’s what nonprofit organization Lonely Whale Foundation hopes as it launches “Strawless in Seattle” throughout the Pacific Northwest city. The campaign urges residents and businesses to trade in their plastic straws for more-sustainable alternatives (or nothing at all!).

The city is a good fit to launch the initiative, given that it’s considering banning all plastic straws and utensils from restaurants in 2018.

Several partners — from sports teams to 100-plus restaurants — have pledged to help. Some of the efforts include:

  • Seattle Seahawks: CenturyLink Field is saying sayonara to straws, starting with the Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers game on Sept. 17.
  • Seattle Mariners: For all 15 home games at Safeco Field during the month of September, Seattle’s MLB team will go straw-free. Actor Adrian Grenier, co-founder of the Lonely Whale Foundation, threw out the first pitch at the Sept. 1 game against the Oakland Athletics.
  • Sea-Tac Airport: More than 20 restaurants at Sea-Tac Airport and other Port of Seattle facilities, including Sea-Tac USO, will eliminate plastic straws.
  • Tom Douglas: Each of well-known restaurateur Tom Douglas’ establishments will provide paper straws “on demand” for customers who request a straw.

Strawless in Seattle is part of Lonely Whale Foundation’s Strawless Ocean global initiative, which aims to remove 500 million plastic straws from the U.S. waste stream this year.

“We are living during a critical turning point for our ocean, and that’s why I’m excited to celebrate the city of Seattle as a true ocean health leader,” Grenier said. “Alongside Lonely Whale Foundation, Seattle’s citywide commitment demonstrates our collective strength to create measurable impact and address the global ocean plastic pollution crisis. We are starting in Seattle with the plastic straw and see no limits if we combine forces to solve this global issue.”

Alternative Straws

Paper straws from Aardvark

Want to join the movement but can’t quite part ways with your straw? That’s okay — there are other options.

Pretty paper. Paper straws are biodegradable and compostable, making them a better option than plastic. Aardvark has teamed up with the Lonely Whale Foundation to create special straws for the #StrawlessOcean initiative.

Gorgeous glass. If you’re ready to really commit to a straw, Simply Straws makes glass options that come with a lifetime guarantee. Handmade in California, the beverage accessories are reusable, durable and dishwasher-safe.

Magnificent metal. Super sturdy and easy to pack away in your purse, metal straws are unbreakable and easy to clean.

Brilliant bamboo. Bubble tea fans, fret not. There’s still a way for you to sip up those tapioca balls of goodness without resorting to plastic. Instead, try these inventive boba bamboo straws and reuse each time the pearl tea craving strikes.

Or, just say no to straws altogether. Not only will you be reducing waste, but you could improve your looks, too — some experts say drinking from a straw can cause more lines and wrinkles around your mouth.

Will you join Seattle in skipping straws this month? Let us know in the comments how you’re going strawless in September.

Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock

Read More:
Death in the Water: How Plastic Is Poisoning Our Oceans
Fresh Tips for Reusing Plastic
How to Make Less Trash the Simple Way

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Haley Shapley

Haley Shapley is based in Seattle, where recycling is just as cool as Macklemore, walking in the rain without an umbrella, and eating locally sourced food. She writes for a wide range of national and regional publications, covering everything from sustainability and health to travel and retail.

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