A general view of plastic straws, as environmentalists have backed a new campaign calling on both the Scottish and UK governments to crack down on the use of plastic drinking straws.. Picture date: Monday January 8, 2018. The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has given its backing to SNP MSP Kate's Forbes' Final Straw campaign as it was officially launched. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Straws. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire
A general view of plastic straws, as environmentalists have backed a new campaign calling on both the Scottish and UK governments to crack down on the use of plastic drinking straws.. Picture date: Monday January 8, 2018. The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has given its backing to SNP MSP Kate's Forbes' Final Straw campaign as it was officially launched. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Straws. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire Kirsty O'Connor

Straw wars: Which local establishments are banning plastic?

BANNING the small thin plastic tube seems to be the latest environmental campaign the public are getting behind.

And for good reason.

The recycling of straws was somewhat uncommon, the evidence of which can be seen on beaches across the world. Marine animals and fish are also affected by the small plastic tool.

A video of scientists removing a straw embedded in a sea turtle's nose went viral in 2015, and ramped up the conversation.

(WARNING: Graphic video)

The United Kingdom will implement a ban on plastic straws as soon as next year, becoming the first country to impose such a measure.

Since their inception, straws are one of the most easily accessible products available and while figures are unknown, it's estimated Australian's use about 10 million straws daily.

Except for people with medical needs who may need plastic straws, alternative materials include paper, glass, stainless steel, and bamboo straws. But how many local establishments are taking advantage of this?

The Byron Shire seems to be on top of the fight against plastic straws, with many businesses offering the more environmentally-friendly options.

Intent on reducing their environmental footprint further, the Brunswick Hotel have banned plastic straws.

Hotel duty manager Declan Cronly, said they ditched the plastic straws six month ago and swapped them for paper ones.

"Since then we've had some issues with supply on occasion but they have definitely been fazed out," Mr Cronly said.

"We've also introduced polycarbonate reusable plastics, and our sauce and takeaway containers are now made from paper.

"We are selling keep cups and will be phasing out plastic bags for takeaway liquor sales. We are trying to reduce our impact across the board."

He said strangely people do complain about having to use paper straws, but the initial response was overwhelmingly positive.

"It's so important to reduce our environmental impact and we take pride in running the business in a way that's not so damaging on the environment."

The hotel isn't the only one to make the swap, so have Jones and Co, Footbridge, Milk Bar, and Bruns Bakery - to name a few.

Up the road in Byron Bay, Balcony Bar uses paper straws, and Miss Margarita, Woody's Surf Shack, Byron Corner Store, Byron General Store, Beach Hotel, Sunday Sustainable Bakery, The Brewery, The Corner Kitchen in Bangalow and Doma in Federal are amongst the long list of businesses who have also ditched the plastic version.

According to Plastic Free Byron, these Byron Shire businesses have not only ditched the plastic straws, but are 100 per cent plastic free of plastic bags, cutlery, cups and lids water bottles and takeaway containers.

Plastic Free Byron was currently supported by Santos Organics, Bolsa Bags and Clean Coast Collective in partnership with Mullum S.E.E.D and delivered by Bolsa Bags.

The website listed these businesses at 100 per cent plastic free as of June 11:

  • Santos Organics
  • Punch and Daisy, Mullumbimby
  • Table View, Brunswick Heads
  • The Byron Bay General Store, Byron Bay
  • Branches Coffee Roasters, Mullumbimby
  • JING Organics, Byron Bay
  • The Pass Cafe, Byron Bay
  • Moonshine Coffee Roasters, Federal
  • The Farm Byron Bay, Ewingsdale
  • The Petit Snail, Byron Bay
  • Trattoria Basiloco Restaurant, Byron Bay
  • The Magic Pot, Mullumbimby
  • Folk Cafe, Byron Bay
  • Byron Fresh Cafe, Byron Bay
  • Miss Margarita Restaurant, Byron Bay
  • Footbridge Cafe, Brunswick Heads
  • Tully's Place Cafe, Suffolk Park
  • Sparrow, Byron Bay
  • The Other Joint, Mullumbimby
  • Diner 55, Mullumbimby
  • Pure Melt Chocolate Lounge, Mullumbimby
  • Town Restuarant, Bangalow
  • The Bolt Hole, Byron Bay
  • Scratch Patisserie, Mullumbimby
  • The Roadhouse, Byron Bay
  • Sparrow Coffee Cafe, Bangalow

Is your business 100 per cent plastic free, or are you using alternatives for some products? Let us know.