Local environmental group asking restaurants to skip the straw

Posted at 8:13 PM, Apr 13, 2018

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A straw may not be in your cup the next time you dine at a local restaurant. It's part of Keep it Beachy Clean's mission to save sea life who can get harmed by them. The environmental group is asking local restaurants to skip the straw for Earth Day.

"Americans use 500 million straws and throw them away every single day so maybe Virginia Beach can be part of the solution to reducing that number," said Christina Trapani who works with the group.

Her main concern with plastic straws is how they aren't biodegradable and can harm sea life, especially sea turtles.

"Animals can mistake any plastic pollution for prey and ingest it," said Trapani. "The issue with plastic pollution is such an enormous issue and can be very overwhelming. So for people who want to help solve that problem, straws are one of those things you can just eliminate."

So far, nine restaurants are on board with the pledge to skip the straw. One of them includes 11th Street Tap House & Grill. The executive chef said they've had to pull tons of straws out of their drains and it's caused big plumbing problems.

"We've had personal experience with this being a problem. And it totally seems like a real issue for me and we want to get behind it," said Steve Weiner.

The environmental group's goal is to have 50 restaurants on board. Moving forward, Weiner believes this is something many restaurants can easily incorporate and hope they do.

"It is a small thing, but as we do more little small things, that's how we make a difference," said Weiner.

Of course, this is something Trapani hopes restaurants will stick with beyond Earth Day.

"We're hoping some of the restaurants can experience it for one day and it's successful and they'll continue that effort," said Trapani.

Restaurants hoping to sign up can visit Keep it Beachy Clean's website.