DES MOINES, Iowa -- You might have to soon start asking if you want a straw when you are out to eat. A petition was started last week to encourage restaurants to only offer plastic straws upon request.
“The estimate is that there is 500 million straws that is used every day in the U.S. that’s 1.6 on average per person and with BPA in straws they’re not recyclable and that makes them just adding to the problem every day,” Straw Petition Organizer and business owner Katie Patterson said.
The numbers continue to grow on the Change.org petition to make straws only available by request in Des Moines restaurants.
Some businesses have already made the change. It has been a week since St. Kilda stopped giving out plastic straws with every drink. The owner says since they have implemented the change, customers have not seemed to notice or care, and they have used about a tenth of the straws as they did before. It is a small step toward sustainability that many people don’t realize has such a big impact on the environment, because of the BPA in straws they cannot be recycled.
“They’re certainly a part of our everyday lives that we don’t think about. Once you start thinking about it you recognize all throughout your day, throughout your week how much garbage you are creating on your own times of course everybody in this city is tremendous.” Patterson said.
There are options for people who want to make sustainable changes in their personal lives.
“A lot of people are switching to, you know, paper straws or hard plastic straws that they can carry with them that are reusable, or stainless-steel straws that are reusable that they carry with them and it becomes just a piece of their everyday update that they made but a huge impact on the Earth,” Patterson said.
A couple of restaurants have already implemented the straws only by request movement, in addition to St. Kilda, Table 128 in Clive and Reeds Hollow in Des Moines. Bubba will begin to only offer straws by request starting July 1st.