The Vancouver chapter of environmental non-profit Surfrider is calling on the city’s coffee shops, bars and restaurants to stop giving out plastic straws.
The call to action – titled Straws Suck – is part of a broader campaign to protect the oceans by targeting single use plastics, which also include shopping bags and take out containers.
When these plastics enter the ocean, they slowly degrade into tiny pieces that animals and fish can mistake for food, with deadly results. According to Surfrider, plastics are also dangerous to ecosystems and human health because of their ability to absorb and concentrate PCBs, DDT, and other toxins.
As part of their campaign against plastics, Surfrider has also launched their #greenspotted social media campaign. The hashtag allows people to share progressive actions that they spot around the city, celebrating businesses who are already taking steps to become more environmentally friendly.
“One of my favourite submissions so far is of Coo Coo Coffee, a Yaletown cafe, that uses sticks of spaghetti instead of plastic coffee stirs,” the foundation’s Matthew Unger told Vancity Buzz.
Unger says Surfrider Vancouver will also soon be releasing a tool to let Vancouverites “report, find and support our local businesses who have taken action to protect our beautiful oceans, waves and beaches from these single use plastics.”
Some #greenspotted highlights so far:
Reuse is the new recycle. Refill your household soaps here. #savemoney #riseaboveplastics #greenspotted #vancouver A photo posted by Surfrider Foundation Vancouver (@surfridervan) on