Charleston businesses go strawless for the summer

Charleston businesses go strawless for the summer

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston restaurants and bars want you to 'stop sucking'.

They're not insulting you, it's all part of the Strawless Summer Initiative to help protect our local environment.

"Our ultimate goal is to rid the Lowcountry of detrimental plastics from the environment," Charleston Surfriders Foundation chair Kate Dittloff said.

The organization is starting with straws.

Straws are made from a plastic that is not recyclable and you may start noticing restaurants and bars are not providing them as often.

"Every single-use, plastic straw that was ever produced in the United States of America is somewhere on the planet," Dittloff said. "Straws are one of the largest waste products from restaurants and bars and also one of the easiest items to emit from daily use."

"Within two minutes I picked up 30 straws that were wrapped and unused and just went in the garbage," Rita's Seaside Grille manager Erin Guthrie said.

More than 30 restaurants, including Rita's, have taken the pledge so far.

It's not just environmentally friendly, it saves them from buying an abundance of straws, as well.

"It's not to say that you can't but to have them there by request only instead of automatic," Guthrie said. "Not every new drink needs a new straw."

The Surfrider Foundation reports more than 660,000 straws are used every day right here in the Lowcountry.

Going strawless will help lower that amount.

"Just by doing that we're going to eliminate hundreds of thousands of straws from the Lowcountry in just two months," Dittloff said.

Charleston is the first municipality in the country to go strawless.

Other states, like Florida, Hawaii and California, have joined in. The Strawless Summer Challenge starts July first and runs through August.

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