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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

I'm Working on Straws

It's not easy to go zero waste and to be quite honest, we'll probably never achieve it. To offset the bit of rubbish that we do make, we make an effort to work some environmental improvement of our own, such as picking up beach and roadside litter, trapping pests, removing noxious weeds, giving out reusable bags at the Grower's Market....and my latest one....

Targeting Plastic Straws 

When I started to search for solid paper straws, available in New Zealand, that wouldn't collapse on use, could be bought in bulk and weren't too expensive - I came up with nothing...until I found out about The Rubbish Whisperer.
I figured that if it was difficult for me, then bar and cafe owners would probably be pleased if someone found that for them.

The Rubbish Whisperer has since sent me samples and price brochures which I have made into a little pack with cellophane. I  have been dropping these into our local bars and cafes with it - three or four every time I go into town.
In the pack I have included a little information from The Last Plastic Straw which is an organization dedicated to ridding the world of plastic straws. The line that I use is that even if they don't buy into using paper straws, would they please consider adding a sign that says straws available on request, instead of putting them into every drink automatically. 

I point out that I'm not affiliated to the company - just concerned about single use plastic.
I've generally had a good response so far from the places that I have visited.
It's just a little step, but if some take it up, then my time spent will have been worthwhile. At the very least - it makes them think. 


  1. Couldn't agree more, great that you've found paper straws that don't go soggy when you use them, as that has been my experience. I'm planning to buy metal straws to use at home for the kids, they love a milk shake on Summer, and it is nice to drink them through a straw, at the moment they use washable hard plastic straws that came with a drink cup, but they won't last forever.

    1. Cheers Cheryl. I've got a couple of metal straws that I love, but tried to get my daughter to use them and she hated the feel of them, so I hope your kids like them.

  2. What a great idea, to take them round to the businesses who use them. Straws are a real "thing" for me and have been for awhile. I pick up so many on the beach but mainly they are the short, hard plastic ones from children's juice boxes. They are clear and small enough to be devastating to ocean creatures who ingest them and I have seen nothing to replace them. And EVERYBODY with small and not-so-small children brings them to the beach.
    We have been refusing plastic and carrying steel straws for a couple years. Paper ones are easily available here but they are ridiculously expensive. I don't understand that because they are all we had when I was growing up and they were cheap then.

    1. Yes those little hard straws are a problem and it will be difficult to get them to change. These straws work out to be about 5c each, when bought in bulk, which is still dearer than plastic by quite a bit. I remember them being cheap years ago too, but these straws are better quality. They are made in USA.

  3. On my regular beach walks, I find so much plastic and many straws among it. The little juice popper straws are a real problem and I find many of plastic drinking straws too. We have a metal straw that our boy uses here for milkshakes and I often give them as gifts to children. (A metal straw and a bottle of milkshake caramel or chocolate makes a great practical gift.) There is a very popular fish/chip shop a short walk from us and I am hoping to source coffee grounds for my compost/worm farm from them. I wonder if I can find some paper straw suppliers here and offer samples to the little fish/chip shop too??? Thanks for sharing great idea. Meg:)

    1. Let me know how you get on promoting paper straws if you find some Meg. I think it's a long journey, but the more that we get on board, the more normalized it will become. I like your gift idea of the drink and metal straw.


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