We've paired 16 Global Student Embassy club members (all students at Sir Francis Drake High School) with 16 restaurants in the town of San Anselmo.
Goal: Convince each restaurant owner to sign our pledge to ONLY serve Straws Upon Request.
Considering we have adapted to a "Water By Request" protocol (aimed at conserving by not serving glasses of water to customers that may not want them), ordering a straw if and when you would like one, is common sense.
We've been told that restaurants are required to offer straws in keeping with ADA requirements. Though we haven't yet verified this, we certainly recognize straws could be necessary or useful for a variety of reasons. We were also told that restaurants and bars rather appreciate straws because patrons consume beverages up to 3 times faster through a straw than by sipping straight from the glass. We get it.
What to do?
At home, straw enthusiasts such as myself can use glass or stainless steel straws, and in restaurants we can replace the forever-and-ever-lasting disposable plastic straws with compostable paper straws.
Growing up in Southern California, I remember the straws at In-N-Out were paper. If you left them in your soda too long, they unraveled. Today's restaurant grade paper straw is stronger.
I tested one paper straw with a glass of ice water and a timer...
We've been warned that people will have a hard time with the "mouth-feel" of the paper straw in comparison to the plastic that we've all become accustomed to.
On the flip side, guess who's having a hard time with the mouth-feel of our disposable plastics?
In the face of the most recent findings on plastics in the oceans (estimated minimum of 5.25 trillion floating particles weighing 268,940 tons), and evidence of the ingestion of those microplastics by all manner of marine life, from zooplankton to whales, can we continue to justify something as frivolous as the disposable plastic straw?
Check out the next page "The Straw Project Progress" to see which restaurants our intrepid Global Student Embassy/Drake High School team has convinced to sign up!