Single-use plastics, such as drinking straws, are entering our oceans at an enormous rate. The United States alone contributes 500 million straws daily to this plastic wasteland. That’s enough straws to wrap around the earth 2.5 times a day.
As we are all part of the problem, every one of us can make a difference. Make a pledge today to reduce your use of single-use plastics and refuse plastic drinking straws.
In keeping with our mission to protect the oceans through science and advocacy, The Last Straw is our conservation campaign to raise awareness about single-use plastics, focusing primarily on plastic drinking straws.
Straws are one of the most common marine debris items found during beach cleanups on Maui and around the world. Used only once and then discarded, plastic straws pollute our oceans and kill and/or injure marine wildlife.
Plastic (in straws and other products) never truly biodegrades; it just breaks up into smaller pieces called microplastics[MD1] . In fact, every piece of plastic ever created still exists today.
We can all take action to turn the tide on plastic pollution. Start by refusing a straw. Whether at your favorite café, restaurant or bar – let them know “No straw, thank you!” and tell them why. Ask them politely, to ban plastic straws or at least dispense them only upon request.
For those who need or want to use straws, more non-plastic alternatives than ever are available in stores and online, including straws made from paper, stainless steel, glass and bamboo.
Pacific Whale Foundation stopped using straws on our PacWhale ecotour vessels in 2015. Our Maui locations and online Ocean Store carry a range of reusable straws, as well as other high quality, eco-friendly products. We also are currently working on a long-term solution to replace or process our compostable plastic cups. For more information on our environmental commitment, click here.
SOME FACTS & FIGURES ON STRAWS & SINGLE-USE PLASTICS
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 2010. Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures for 2010. United States Environmental Protection Agency Solid Waste and Emergency Response Report, Washington, DC. 12 p.
Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), 2015. “Sources, fate and effects of microplastics in the marine environment: a global assessment” (Kershaw, P. J., ed.). (IMO/FAO/UNESCO-IOC/UNIDO/WMO/IAEA/UN/UNEP /UNDP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection). Reports and Studies. GESAMP No. 90, 96 p.
Jambeck, J.R., Geyer, R., Wilcox, C., Siegler, T.R., Perryman, M., Andrady, A., Narayan, R. and Law, K.L., 2015. Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean. Science, 347(6223), pp.768-771.
MacArthur, D.M, D. Waughray, and M. Stuchtey, 2016. The New Plastics Economy Rethinking the future of plastics. 2016. World Economic Forum. 34 p.
Ocean Conservancy, 2017. International coastal cleanup report 2017. 24 p.
Schuyler, Q., Hardesty, B.D., Wilcox, C. and Townsend, K., 2014. Global analysis of anthropogenic debris ingestion by sea turtles. Conservation biology, 28(1), pp. 129-139.
Stover, R.L., Evans, K., and Pickett, K. 1996. Report of the Berkeley plastic task force. Ecology Center Plastic Task Force, Berkeley, CA. 48 p.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 2015. Biodegradable Plastics and Marine Litter. Misconceptions, concerns and impacts on marine environments. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Nairobi. 33 p.
Wilcox, C., Van Sebille, E. and Hardesty, B.D., 2015. Threat of plastic pollution to seabirds is global, pervasive, and increasing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(38), pp.11899-11904.
You can help keep plastic straws and other single-use plastics out of the ocean by taking the following actions:
REDUCE the amount of single-use plastic in your household and make more eco-friendly choices.
REFUSE to use plastic straws and ask your local restaurants and businesses to ban plastic straws or dispense them only upon request.
USE ALTERNATIVES to plastic straws such as paper, stainless steel, glass and bamboo – and encourage others to do the same.
REUSE plastic products whenever possible.
RECYCLE plastic products whenever possible.
PLEDGE to reduce your consumption of single-use plastics by signing our online form.
SHARE your commitment and stories of pollution solutions with #ReuseOrRefuse.
MORE WAYS TO BE A PART OF THE LAST STRAW CAMPAIGN
Click here to spread the word to your Facebook friends.
Add the custom ‘Reuse or Refuse’ photo frame to your Facebook profile or other photos.
Get a reusable bamboo straw and set of utensils when you make a donation to Pacific Whale Foundation’s Research, Education and Conservation programs. You can also get reusable straws from our Maui Ocean Store locations or online Ocean Store.
Wear our exclusive, custom-designed Refuse or Reuse t-shirt and look awesome while sharing this important conservation message. Available in a variety of styles, colors and sizes. Click here to purchase.
Join us on a beach cleanup or do one on your own to help keep plastic straws and other marine debris off our beaches and out of the ocean.
SOME REUSABLE STRAW PRODUCTS AVAILABLE ONLINE
Aardvark Straws (paper) https://www.aardvarkstraws.com/
Eco-Tribe (bamboo) http://www.eco-tribe.com/product/stainless-steel-straws/
The Last Straw (stainless steel) https://www.thelaststraw.store/shop
RawNori (stainless steel) https://rawnori.com/collections/stainless-steel-
STRAWLESS OCEAN CHALLENGE
Challenge your friends and followers on social media through this collaborative campaign by Lonely Whale Foundation.
Video: ‘A Plastic Ocean’ film trailer
Video: Sea Turtle with Straw Up Its Nostril
WARNING! Contains graphic content
SOME RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES
By Request Only
Adopt a “straw upon request” policy to only offer straws when customers ask for them.
Paper Straw Analysis
Check out this easy to use template that helps restaurants and other businesses analyze the costs and benefits of switching from plastic to paper straws.
Show your commitment to the environment by switching from plastic to bio-degradable eco-friendly paper straws. We recommend Aardvark Straws. Share your success on social media using #RefuseOrReuse
Become an ‘Ocean Friendly Restaurant’
A Surfrider Foundation program recognizing restaurants that reduce plastic waste and implement ocean-friendly practices.
|BUSINESS NAME||BUSINESS ADDRESS|
|Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa||2605 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761|
|Cool Cat Cafe||658 Front St #160, Lahaina, HI 96761|
|Down The Hatch||658 Front St #102, Lahaina, HI 96761|
|Maui Ocean Center||192 Maalaea Rd, Wailuku, HI 96793|
|Milagro’s||3 Baldwin Ave, Paia, HI 96779|
|Nalu’s||1280 S Kihei Rd, Kihei, HI 96753|
|Charley’s Restaraunt and Saloon||142 Hana Hwy, Paia, HI 96779|
|Best Western Pioneer Inn||658 Wharf St, Lahaina, HI 96761|
|SURFSIDE WOODFIRE PIZZA KITCHEN||505 Front St #101, Lahaina, HI 96761|
|THE MILL HOUSE||1670 Honoapiilani Hwy #1, Wailuku, HI 96793|
|MAUI BREWING CO.||605 Lipoa Pkwy, Kihei, Maui, HI 96753|
|MAUI TACOS||Various locations including: 275 W Kaahumanu Ave # Fc1, Kahului, HI 96732|
|Three’s Bar and Grill||1945 South Kihei Rd, Kihei, HI 96753|
|Fork and Salad||120 Ho’okele St, Kahului, HI, 96732 AND 1279 S Kihei Rd #204, Kihei, HI 96753|
|Duke’s Beach House||130 Kai Malina Pkwy, Kaanapali, HI 96761|
|Paia Bay Coffee||115 Hana Hwy Unit G, Paia, HI 96779|
|Burger Shack||1 Ritz-Carlton Dr, Lahaina, HI 96761|
|MonkeyPod Kitchen||10 Wailea Gateway Pl, Kihei, HI 96753 AND 2435 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761|
|Café O’Lei Restaurants||At the Dunes: 1333 Maui Lani Pkwy, Kahului, HI 96732 and 2439 South Kihei Rd, Kihei, HI 96753|
|‘Ami ‘Ami||2259 South Kihei Rd, Kihei, HI 96753|
|Kamaole Poolside Café||Maui Coast Hotel Poolside, 2259 South Kihei Rd, Kihei, HI 96753|
|BELLE SURF CAFE||1794 S Kihei Rd, Kihei, HI 96753 and 640 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761|
|FLEETWOOD’S ON FRONT STREET||744 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761|
|MOKU ROOTS||335 Keawe St #211, Lahaina, HI 96761|
|SIP ME||3617 Baldwin Ave, Makawao, HI 96768|
|BREKKIE BOWLS||300 Ohukai Rd B1-101, Kihei, HI 96753|
|Tante’s Fishmarket Restaurant & Bar||300 Maalaea Rd, Wailuku, HI 96793|
|Bubba Gump Shrimp Co||889 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761|
|Choice Health Bar||1087 Limahana Pl 1A, Lahaina, HI 96761 AND 11 Baldwin Ave, Paia, HI 96779 AND 2435 Ka’anapali Pkwy, Lahaina 96761|
UPDATED 9/24/20 -- We eagerly welcome visitors back to the islands as quarantine restrictions lift Oct. 15 for those following the state’s pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirements.