Delray Beach Eyes Ban On Plastic Straws

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By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor

Seattle and Starbucks have said goodbye to plastic straws and the city of Delray Beach may be next.

In an environmentally friendly move, the city is aiming to eliminate usage of plastic straws by looking into passing an ordinance that recommends restaurants, coffee shops and juice bars don’t automatically hand out plastic straws to customers.

City officials anticipated an ordinance would be ready for review last month, but one did not appear on any city commission agendas for review or approval.

Before the city has even considered the topic, several restaurants began to saw goodbye to plastic straws already.

Caffe Luna Rosa began offering customers biodegradable straws last month. The O.G. has been a part of “Drop the Straw” campaign since it opened in March.

“At Caffe Luna Rosa, our restaurant and diners are right across the street from the beach and ocean, and as environmentally aware citizens of this seaside village, it is our responsibility to do what we can to preserve the natural beauty around us,” founder of the restaurant Fran Marincola said.

The new straws from Eco-Products, Inc. are made from 100 percent renewable resources and are “so green, you can compost them,” according to the restaurant.

Marincola said he was inspired to ditch the plastic straws after he saw a headline from iNews “Why Straws Suck: Try a Biodegradable Straw and Save the Planet.”

The piece explored how plastics have impacted the ocean, beach and marine life.

The O.G. is hosting a Strawless Social billed as “The Least Sucky Event in Town” to support the #SkipTheStrawDay campaign on Aug. 6

Industry professionals, environmentalists and community members will learn how to communicate this environmental message to their staff and patrons while enjoying specialty Tito’s Vodka cocktails.

Bar owner Challo Schott studied Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois and has woven his green agenda into his business.

He created a recycling program for The O.G. which he has been perfecting since opening. He has a system that collects, sorts and transports the recyclable plastics and aluminum from the restaurant without disturbing the guests’ experiences.

The O.G. transports the materials to local recycling facilities.

“While this is not easy, the effort is worth the reward,” Challo said.