Vermillion is Skipping the Straw

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The Living River Sierra Club and Greening Vermillion are joining forces to reduce plastic waste in our city. We are starting by asking local restaurants, cafes, and bars to not offer straws with drinks unless requested. This simple step will help to eliminate much of the non-bio-degradable waste that can pollute our landscapes and our waterways. Some local restaurants have already taken it upon themselves to not offer straws unless asked and to use biodegradable take-out ware, without even being asked!

For action plan, business card, restaurant sign, window decals, sample letter inviting businesses to join the campaign, alternatives to plastic straws and packaging, documentary film, and other resources, click here.        


    Why Should I Skip the Plastic Straw?


  • Everything that ends up in our waterways eventually makes its way to the oceans.

  • By 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

  • 80% of all marine debris found in the ocean is land-based, and 80-90% of the marine debris is made from plastic.

  • Plastic straws are among the top ten items collected every year during Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. Volunteers have picked up more than 9 million straws and stirrers from beaches and waterways over the 30+ year history of the International Coastal Cleanup!

  • In the US we use 500 million straws a day!

  • What makes plastic straws unique is that for the vast majority of people, they are not necessary.

  • A disposable straw is used on average for 20 minutes, a plastic stirrer for 4 seconds. Either can spend 100s of years in a landfill. And there is a good chance that these items will get lost and end up in the waterways and the ocean.

  • Straws present a real danger to sea turtles, birds, fish, and other ocean wildlife.

  • Starbucks is removing plastic straws from its stores. Many US cities are also banning single use straws.

  • It’s an easy thing to do to help the environment!