Portland Bars and Restaurants Are Getting Rid of Plastic Straws

 
While Oregon isn’t looking to criminalize plastic straws anytime soon (and neither are other states), there is a movement growing among restaurants and bars that recognizes the damage that plastic straws cause to our environment. Joining this movement is the Independent Restaurant Concepts group, which includes eight restaurants and bars. As of Sunday, April 22—Earth Day—North 45, Paddy’s Bar & Grill, Circa 33, The Station, Cadillac Café, Produce Row Café, The Independent Sports Bar & Grill, and Patton Maryland will no longer use plastic straws.
 
The impetus came from a trip that the IRC co-owner and CEO Jim Hall took to the Oregon coast. There, he saw a beach littered with straws and realized that his restaurants could be doing more to assuage the damage from plastics. He made the decision to remove plastic straws replace them, when needed, with biodegradable paper ones. “Yes, purchasing compostable straws is more costly to our business operations, but it’s also the right thing to do,” said Hall in a press release. “Not every beverage needs a straw. Whenever possible, we’ll ditch straws from our beverage programs. When it’s necessary… we will choose a biodegradable straw.”
 
The eight restaurants in the group are not the first in Portland to do away with harmful plastic straws. The Portland branch of Surfrider has been keeping track of places that are doing away with straws, and their lists includes Bible Club (which never had plastic straws for historical authenticity), Dig a Pony, St. Jack, The Doug Fir Lounge, and more. Likely, the famously progressive city of Portland will see more and more restaurants join the movement.
 
Photo via Circa 33
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