Hawaii to Say “Aloha!” to Plastic Straws

Aug, 03, 2018

By Fredrica Syren:

The paradise of Hawaii is working on saying “Aloha!” to single-use plastic straws, as Bill 2285 is making its way to approval. This bill will ban use of these straws for any reason in the entire state of Hawaii. Offenders will be fined as well as sentenced to community service, which involves trash pick-up in public spaces.

When we were in Maui last week, we discovered that many businesses — restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream places, bars and hotels — have jumped ahead of the ban and have transitioned from plastic straws to compostable paper straws despite the expense.

I spoke to one manager of a major restaurant chain who told me that, sure, its a little more costly and that paper straws are not as durable as plastic ones, but its the right thing to do.

Considering that plastic straws are among the top 10 items collecting along the world’s shorelines and that Americans use about 500 million straws each day (enough to circle the earth two and a half times), I’m glad to see businesses are taking this seriously.

 Too many disposable plastic straws are ending up in the ocean. As with anything made of plastic, they don’t degrade naturally; they will stay in a landfill or, worse, in the ocean. Here, these straws eitherwillbe consumed by aquatic organisms or will float as makeshift islands … forever. Furthermore, when plastics such as straws do begin to degrade, they release harmful toxins like polypropylene, thus harming marine life and plants.

 So, make this summer the time for your plastic straw-free pledge and say no thank you to disposable plastic straws!

 To learn more about plastic straws and bans check out their links:

  Make straws suck less: Switch to these paper ones that help fund sea turtle research

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Fredrika Syren

Fredrika Syren is an environmental activist and writer. In 2016, she founded the website Green-Mom.com where she shared her family’s journey of living zero waste. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband James and their children Bella, Noah, and Liam. Fredrika and her family were recently featured in the documentary Zero Time to Waste. Fredrika is also the author of Zero Waste for Families - A Practical Guidebook (which you can buy on this site)

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