We know that you will have questions, so here are a few that we have already tackled. Got another? Let us know here.
Where do I get reusable straws from?
Fancy your own reusable straw? Great! First you need to decide what sort. Stainless steel is one option, either as a straight straw or a traditional kinked straw, and many come with their own travel cases and cleaning brushes. Other options are bamboo straws, glass straws, titanium or silicon straws. Here are a couple of links to get you going, but a search for ‘reusable straw’ is a good place to start…
My favourite bar / restaurant / cafe uses plastic straws – what can I do?
Why not point them here so they can find out more? Say that you would love it if they Pledged to say that #StrawsAreForSuckers too.
Ok – how much does it cost to be part of this?
Nothing. It’s voluntary and free. The only cost to you may be switching stock from single use plastic to more marine friendly options. If you ditch straws completely, there is no cost at all. You SAVE money. Winner.
What do I get out of it?
You will be showing all your customers, who are increasingly aware of marine plastic and its devastating impact on our marine environment through the media, that you also know about the issue and are taking positive steps to do something about it. We are working to draw attention to venues signed up to the pledge via social media and the press at both a national and local level. You will also be added to our online map of Plastic Free Pledged venues here.
How to I show people I’m part of the Plastic Free Pledge?
Well, you could download some of our free graphics and infographics and put them up on show. If you want, you can also purchase one of our full packs, which has a selection of information material and a couple of window stickers to show you are part of the movement, but this is purely optional. Contact us for more details on this, or go ahead and download / print what you fancy here.
I already have loads of straws that I haven’t used…
Could they be recycled without use as they are uncontaminated? Alternatively, you could give them to the Claire Potter Design studio to allow them to be made into something for the campaign…
My supplier doesn’t do plastic free alternatives…
Have you asked them why this is the case? Perhaps they are able to source them for you if you ask – if there is demand, then they will likely start to stock them.
I need to use some straws – what could I use instead?
Ok – if you’re sure. There are a few options that are still better than standard single use plastics:
PLA – a plant based material, which is compostable. We recommend Vegware, who has a full range of compostable straws, from little cocktail ones to jumbo shake ones. Just make sure all your staff knows that they are compostable!
Paper – not available in as many sizes or configurations as the PLA, but still a good option as they can come in multiple colours / patterns. Try and find a supplier that uses FSC paper if you can, such as Kikkerland.
Stainless steel reusable – available in different sizes and available in both straight or angled shaped straws. Fully food safe and washable – a good option if you have a bar / restaurant where drinks stay ‘local’. Check out Eco-Straws for a good starting point.
People will just ask for a straw anyway
People may surprise you. They may not even notice. But if they ask, explain why you are doing it. On our download page, you will soon be able to download simple, attractive graphics to allow you to quickly explain to customers why you are pledging to reduce your plastic straw / straw use.
What will being part of the Plastic Free Pledge, #StrawsAreForSuckers campaign actually mean?
It will directly mean that there is less single use plastic on the beaches of Brighton and Hove and less plastic that could end up in our seas. All thanks to a small change and effort from you.
I don’t want to be the only one doing this!
Quite right too. We are speaking to, and being contacted by multiple venues, bars, cafes and restaurants on the seafront strip from Hove Lagoon to Madeira Drive in Brighton asking them to be part of this voluntary campaign. We all love our beach – and we can all be part of the solution.
So – who is signed up already?
Take a look at our map, which we are updating with Plastic Free Pledged venues in Brighton, such as The Grand Hotel and The Tempest, which has been plastic straw free since 2016, proving that it really is possible.
I need to use straws, but biodegradable / paper straws cost far more than plastic
This is true, but if you do not give out straws with EVERY drink, you will automatically use less, which will help mitigate the increase in cost.
For example, if 100 plastic straws are used in a typical day at your cafe at a wholesale cost of 50p1 (0.005p per straw), if half of your customers decide they do not need a straw, you will only need 50.
If switched to paper, these 50 straws could cost around 65p2 (0.0131p per straw – based on a bulk buy of 500)
If switched to biodegradable plastic, these 50 could cost around 45p3 (0.00916p per straw)
So, going plastic free does not need to mean a huge increase in costs. And the more people that go straw free, the more savings you make. (costs based on links below, March 2017)
1 – plastic straw wholesale cost http://www.mbswholesale.co.uk/acatalog/Drinking_Straws_Dispensers.html
2 – paper straw bulk cost – https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/239814569/25-500-striped-straws-packs-of-25-or-50?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=stripe%20straws%20bulk&ref=sc_gallery_6&plkey=a9a065d1e5b6a9d1848dc5c0833008fe882fa4cc:239814569
3 – biodegradable plastic straw bulk cost – https://www.allianceonline.co.uk/biodegradable-bendy-straw-psbio001.html?gclid=CJzxmqCN29ECFUa6GwodoCsGSQ