Port Businesses call for locals to subscribe to The Last Straw

ENVIRONMENTAL and Eco Tourism businesses, restaurants and attractions around Port Stephens are asking all businesses to get behind The Last Straw campaign.

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The movement will see a large reduction in plastic waste in and around our waterways.

The businesses are replacing the plastic straws with either eco friendly options or asking customers to simply go without.

Some claim we use 10 million straws each year, however the actual number of straws used in Australia each year is a contentious issue, the fact that plastic straws when discarded don’t break down.

Straws that end up in storm water drains eventually make their way into our waterways where they interfere with mangrove ecosystems and hurt our marine life.

Nigel Dique, secretary of EcoNetwork-Port Stephens said, “Given that they take 200 years to decompose and can’t really be recycled, plastic straws are an environmental nightmare.

“Even when they do degrade, they break into smaller, microscopic pieces that can still be ingested by and are toxic to marine creatures.

“Every pub, every cafe and restaurant should seriously consider why this single-use product should continue to be offered freely to customers.

“There are alternatives to plastic, including paper straws that service providers ought to investigate, and we all need to consider whether we really need a straw to drink a cocktail, juice or soft drink,” he said.

Mel Turner of Moonshadow Cruises Told News Of The Area, “As one of the largest water-based Tour Operators on the NSW East Coast, we have a responsibility to our marine environment, we have engaged the ‘No Straw’ policy on 7 of our vessels running daily and moving on average 800-1500 passengers per day.”

Lia Pereira of Irukandji and Sea Shelter said, “I am really loving all the attention the ‘straw no more’ and ‘straws suck’ campaigns are getting.”

Irukandji has been using bamboo straws and paper cups without lids for slushies for many years.

In general, visitors to Irukandji have been supportive of the bamboo straws, having just met the sharks and learning about the plastic plight of the ocean.

“It makes me so happy seeing such huge change in the amount of paper straws offered around the Bay, the tide is changing, and it’s great!” she said.

Sea Shelter conducted a 5-hour clean-up of a 3.5km stretch of Marsh Road which collected 191 plastic straws earlier this year.

The plea is for all businesses and consumers in Port Stephens to ditch plastic straws.



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