Several Gore Bay business stop serving plastic straws

No more plastic straws! Buoys Restaurant is among three businesses in Gore Bay who are taking part in the ‘Straws Suck’ program, banning plastic straws and offering paper straws to customers upon request. In photo is Buoys employee Delaney Campbell and business owner Richard Anger.

Businesses participating in Straws Suck campaign

GORE BAY—An employee of a Gore Bay business had no problem convincing the owners of her business to stop serving customers plastic straws as part of the “Straws Suck” program to reduce the amount of single-use waste from getting into our waterways.

“Buoys (restaurant), The Live Edge and Manitoulin Pizza Company have all banned plastic straws and are offering paper straws upon request,” said Delaney Campbell, an employee at Buoys in Gore Bay. She is hoping all restaurants and businesses in Gore Bay do the same.

“The Straws Suck campaign is based out of Tofino, British Columbia where it started,” said Ms. Campbell. “The campaign is dedicated to eliminating plastic waste getting into our oceans, beaches, lakes-rivers and the Great Lakes. The Straws Suck campaign is initially looking to businesses and restaurants to reduce their plastic waste.”

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“I would like to think one day we will be able to eliminate all single-use plastic waste products and straws are a good way to start,” said Ms. Campbell, who used to live in Tofino. “It’s really brutal what these type of plastic products does to our waterways, fish and animals.”

As many as 500 million straws are used every day in the US and around 20 billion kilograms of plastic ends up in the ocean each year, including those straws. This plastic breaks down and animals, including the fish we eat, ingest this plastic.

“These type of items, like straws, break down and are consumed by fish that we then catch and consume and all plastics and toxins can cause unhealthy conditions in humans,” continued Ms. Campbell. “The way the campaign works is by providing options that businesses and restaurants can choose from, totally eliminating straws and only use those that are biodegradable or reusable and only serving paper straws on request from a customer.”

When asked if the local program includes, for instance, plastic cutlery, Ms. Campbell said not yet. “Focussing on a single item at a time is the goal for now. I’m starting to contact local businesses in Gore Bay and hope the majority will take the same action as we have.”

What can you do to take part in the program? First, simply stop using straws and all other single-use plastics like bags and takeout food containers. Second, buy products with no to minimal packaging and third, spread the word to your friends and family and tell businesses to stop using single-use plastics.

The Straws Suck website states: “Single use plastic is an overwhelming norm in our daily lives. It’s hard to escape its omnipresence. The Straws Suck Campaign is helping people to perceive the tangible changes needed to eliminate single user plastic in every day existence. At this point we really cannot defend the use of plastic-like straws if we are going to claim that we care about the ocean. There is an outstanding number of passionate and talented individuals who are stoked  to be a member of this collective. We have a real opportunity here to become more ecologically conscious and set standards that can influence the diversity of people that travel here. We want to positively transform our community, businesses, and environment.”