Plastic disposable straws are a tremendous source of pollution, with the equivalent of 125 school buses being filled daily with trashed straws in the USA. Bacardi wants people to refuse straws outright and has made several of its venues straw-free.
Everywhere you go, there are people walking around with straws sticking out of their drinks. The drink will last a few minutes, but unfortunately the straw lasts much longer. After being used once, it will get tossed in the landfill, along with 500 million others that are discarded daily in the United States. Eventually the straw will make its way into a waterway or ocean, where it will add to the 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic trash that pollute our oceans, including about 269,000 tons floating on the surface.
In an effort to raise awareness about the horrific waste caused by disposable plastic straws, Bacardi has initiated a “no-straw” movement as part of the company’s “Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future” environmental campaign and together with the Surfrider Foundation. Bacardi has implemented the policy at its North American headquarters in Coral Gables, Florida, and at the Bombay Sapphire distillery in Hampshire, England.
Ian McLaren, director of Trade Advocacy for Bacardi, hopes all other offices within the global Bacardi infrastructure will follow suit. “Plastic straws don’t biodegrade, and their use is ubiquitous across many industries including the spirits market. We are resolved to be part of the solution, and this includes reducing the amount of waste we produce."
By going straw-less at the gin distillery will save 14,000 straws from landfill every month. It’s a small drop in the bucket, but at least it raises awareness and will hopefully encourage people to transfer those straw-free orders to other areas of their life.
Bacardi cites a report from The Last Plastic Straw:
“If you lined up the 500-million straws used and discarded each day in the U.S. alone, you would be able to wrap around the globe two-and-a-half times, and this is equivalent to filling 125 school buses to the brim, each day, with just straws. That equates to 46,400 school buses every year, says the U.S. National Park Service. The reality, however, is that more than 175 billion straws are filtered into landfills and litter the oceans, yearly. With straws ranked No. 5 on the list of top-10 items collected in the ocean, Bacardi urges everyone to add, ‘No straw, please,’ to every drink order.”
There are alternative straws available, made of glass, paper, and metal; keep some in your purse or car for when you go out to a restaurant or coffee shop. Otherwise, ditch them completely because you don’t need a straw for a drink to taste good. When ordering at the bar, make it part of your regular drink order. The more people who ask for “no straw, please,” the faster companies will catch on that disposable straws are no longer in vogue and, hopefully, change their policy.