Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn launched “Strawless Suffolk,” a new initiative to cut back on the use of plastic straws primarily at waterfront businesses like in Greenport where straw use increases in summer, on Monday, July 2.
Hahn, who chairs the legislature’s Environment, Agriculture, and Planning Committee, was joined by members of the Plastics Reduction Task Force, who are charged with making recommendations to reduce the county’s carbon footprint, as well as local environmentalists, at a press conference at The Purple Elephant in Northport.
The program was inspired by a similar one focused on the East End that was organized by the Surfrider Foundation Eastern Long Island Chapter, which launched its own initiative earlier this year with a screening of the documentary, Straws.
Under both programs, restaurants are asked to take a pledge to encourage providing the option of going straw free, using a biodegradable paper disposable straw, or using their own glass or metal re-usable straw. The idea behind the program is for it to expand beyond the season and catch on with other restaurants, so that the county’s carbon footprint is reduced.
“The beauty of our beaches and natural landscape is what drives Suffolk County’s estimated $5.6 billion tourist economy,” said Hahn. “And yet, all over the county, our beaches and parks are littered with plastic straws and other plastic debris. What’s even more distressing is the suffering these useless bits of plastic inflict on vulnerable wildlife. Suffolk is joining the worldwide movement to save our oceans and beaches, starting right here at home.”