CENTRAL OKANAGAN - The Regional Waste Reduction office says it's watching with interest the developing campaign against single-use plastic straws but says there are no plans yet to join in.
A campaign against single-use straws has caught fire on social media with businesses and people around the world are getting behind it.
Some local restaurants have already banned or restricted the use of plastic straws to customer request.
“You have to ask for a straw now,” server Amanda Langevin says, who needed no convincing to join the movement.
“It’s all over Facebook,” Langevin adds. "There’s like 150 million straws a day going into the ocean. They showed turtles with them up their noses. It’s awful."
Langevin says lots of customers who come into FSH on St. Paul Street have been asking her to hold the straw and some customers have even come in with their own personal straws.
Her server friends at other restaurants are mostly into it too.
“It’s definitely a thing now,” she adds.
The City of Vancouver is considering making the request of plastic straw mandatory at restaurants, but leaving options for people who may not be able to drink without a straw.
It would be part of a package of measures aimed at saving the city some $2.5 million by reducing the use of single-use plastics, styrofoam, takeout containers and disposable cups.
Central Okanagan Regional District environmental services manager Peter Rotheisler says the waste reduction office would love to emulate Vancouver but has neither the size nor the budget to jump in on any kind of similar recycling program without first seeing what it might cost.
“We probably don’t have the kind of density it takes to make it work,” he said. “They can make a much larger impact with a lot less dollars per capita.”
What could emerge, Rotheisler adds, is some kind of solution from the environmental services division in Vancouver.
“They’re very good at this and they are quite happy to share what they have learned,” he says.
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