Campaign to cut use of plastic straws gains momentum locally

By on July 24, 2018

Coasters and signs at Outer Banks Brewing Station (top left), Cravings, Slice and Coastal Provisions.

A recent story in the Voice by Daniel Lewis, president of the Outer Banks Restaurant Association, discussing efforts to curb the use of straws stirred up some spirited discussion among our readers.

Since then, visits to local restaurants reveal that more and more establishments are putting out signs declaring their participation.

But contrary to some Facebook comments, no local restaurant has proposed banning them altogether.

One reader was concerned that a family member who needs to use a straw because of a disability would be unable to enjoy a beverage.

Locally, most restaurants are taking an opt-in policy, which you means you have to ask for a straw, are switching to paper or other more environmentally friendly straws or doing both.

It was noteworthy that on a recent trip to the Caymans, we saw that virtually every establishment offered paper straws, even with smaller cocktails that usually come with plastic stirrers. No one seemed to be complaining.

Lewis, owner and chef at Coastal Provisions in Southern Shores, discusses straws in the original Voice story.

Meanwhile, on July 9, Starbucks announced a plan to eliminate disposable straws for all but their Frappuccino, which will be served with a paper or compostable plastic straw. All of their other beverages will be served in “sippy” cups that do not require staws, similar to the cup Lewis described.

Starbucks, in their press release, estimated more than a billion plastic straws a year will be eliminated from their 28,000 stores, one of which is in Southern Shores.


  • Really?

    Lol! The latest feel good ,liberal ,think we’re going to change the world problem to wring their hands over.

    Tuesday, Jul 24 @ 7:55 am
  • Rick Shaftan

    The new Starbucks cup tops use more plastic than the old tops and plastic straws. They are evil.

    This is a real crisis. But to solve it we cannot tinker at the edges. We must ban ALL plastic, including plastic garbage bags, Saran Wrap and the plastic they use in the supermarket (and the Mylar Balloons we see all over the beach!) All must be banned and violators must be fined heavily and jailed for repeat violations. IF IT SAVES JUST ONE FISH IT’S WORTH IT!!!!!!!!!!

    Tuesday, Jul 24 @ 9:13 am
  • Roy

    I grew up with paper straws drinking fountain drinks in the pharmacy. No problem!

    Tuesday, Jul 24 @ 9:27 am
  • romer

    cant fix stupid.

    Tuesday, Jul 24 @ 1:04 pm
  • Seriously

    So proud of our local community for doing this. Saving even one turtle is so worth the effort. Turtles live longer than humans. Respect your elders!
    Thank you local restaurants, one of my favorites has been plastic strawless for a while now.

    Tuesday, Jul 24 @ 3:24 pm
  • Mike Williams

    Meanwhile back in reality, Asia continue to pollute 10 million cubic tons into the ocean while the US pollutes 300k cubic tons! Lol you hippies need to get a job . Stop living in a bubble. Nothing you do matters honestly

    Tuesday, Jul 24 @ 7:21 pm
  • Michael

    Imagine if we focused on saving ( one child) instead of one turtle. Or how we can feed a helpless child instead of how can we t someone in ( jail) over using a plastic straw. These comments…… It’s scary. I thought I’ve heard it all until this.

    Wednesday, Jul 25 @ 3:38 am
  • David

    Mike Williams we don’t need your negativity. We are trying to do something to better life for future generations . Our efforts definitely he’ll our oceans & their inhabitants . So I’m proud to not use plastic straws & hope to work on getting the plastic bag ban back on the obx !

    Wednesday, Jul 25 @ 7:06 am
  • Debra

    Argyles went to stainless steel straws. We sell them to concerned patrons to keep with them wherever they need a straw. Paper straws are 4times the cost of plastic, so this was a way to keep our beverage cost the same while helping the environment and the turtles!

    Wednesday, Jul 25 @ 8:16 am
  • Derek

    There is more plastic in those sippy cup tops than a straw. Liberals need to just learn not to throw their straws in the ocean! It’s also factual that recycling plastic is not the way to go. There is an excellent article, “SAVE THE OCEANS, Stop recycling plastic” by Mikko Paunio that backs this up. Liberals also think that a hybrid car saves the planet and that is the farthest thing from the truth. The entire global footprint of a hybrid car from start to finish is way worse for Mother Earth than an economical non-hybrid. This of course takes into account how and where the materials come from and then what is done with them at the end cycle as well as the transportation of the products used. Ditto an electric car that is FILLED AGAIN with petroleum products just like a hybrid car is. And where do you think the electric in the USA comes from? 33% of the electric in the USA is generated by COAL with another 33% from natural gas and 20% by Nuclear. SHEEP!

    Thursday, Jul 26 @ 2:40 pm
  • M Johnny

    Mike Williams & Derek: Interesting stats. Please share your sources.

    I’m curious. . . why do you (I’m assuming) “conservatives” tend to mock people who are concerned about the earth’s oceans as “liberals” and “hippies” for wanting to do the right thing for the earth that God created – even it’s just trying to save our little part of the world? I’m a local Christian who walks the walk and wants to leave a better world for our grandkids. I’m still trying to wrap my head around this mean spiritedness that “conservatives” such as you keep showing towards those who are trying to do the right thing. Yes, it’s a simple effort but every little effort counts. You “conservatives” should be thanking these guys for their efforts. Obviously, you don’t care. What would Jesus do? Seriously.

    Monday, Jul 30 @ 2:50 pm
  • Justin

    I see liberals are slowly migrating their way down to the Outer Banks.
    Go back up North you clowns and take all your stupid ideologies with you!

    Monday, Jul 30 @ 7:24 pm
  • M Johnny

    Case in point, Justin. Thanks. Your posting speaks volumes about you. Also, if you’re referring to me. . . I’m a local, NC born and not from the North.

    Tuesday, Jul 31 @ 10:18 am
  • Webster

    Judging by the comments , I see the Do Nothing lobby is alive and well locally, perhaps behind the rollback of the paper bag laws. A change from plastic to paper straws isn’t going to save the world, or prevent NC from drowning in its own plastic, non biodegradable waste, but it is a step in the right direction. Regardless of your party affiliation, tourism is the basis of the local economy. Our wildlife and clean spaces leave a lasting impression on visitors. Perhaps a reusable or biodegradable straw might catch on with the children of our visitors and THEY will take climate change and pollution seriously, instead of calling it a liberal conspiracy theory.

    Tuesday, Jul 31 @ 8:48 pm