we started with plastic straws…
Thank you to everyone who took our pledge to no longer use plastic straws! We launched our online campaign last year and collected 158 pledges from our community to no longer use plastic straws. We have learned a lot about plastic during our project as we spoke to local businesses and people who work to remove plastic from our environment.
The more that we learned, we realized that the problem is not just plastic straws. It is single-use plastic. We want to change that in Marin County.
UPDATE: September 24, 2019, the Marin County Board of Supervisors voted to approve a contract to begin the process to write an ordinance for food vendors to use biodegradable food packing that includes cups, plates, hinge containers, bowls, trays, and cartons. The ordinance would allow durable/reusable, paper or bio-plastic (BPI certified) compostable food ware items. Thank you Supervisor Rodoni for your leadership on this item.
Letter to Editor of Point Reyes Light, October 2018:
“Here in West Marin, we don’t have fast-food restaurants, but we do have a big problem. A lot of restaurants and other places use corn-based or some other plant-based plastics that look like plastic but are called “compostable,” but we can’t compost them here…the plant-based compostable plastic needs to be heated up super-hot, and there are no facilities that do that in Marin. So they can’t go in the green compost bins that we get from the waste company.”
Blog Post, November 2018: Marin County Supervisor Visits My Class…
…”I talked to my class and told them about the Ban 2.0 List, and read the list of common plastic trash like food wrappers, bottle caps, beverage bottles, and much more. I also told them about how some bioplastics compost and others do not. Like, paper straws decompose but some compostable forks and knives do not, even if they spend two years in the ocean. After, I gave Dennis [Rodoni Marin County Supervisor] the Ban List to take to his office so that he could look at it and remind himself about it. I hope that he will try to make a change to ban single-use plastics in Marin.”
BLOG POST, JUNE 2019: WE STARTED WITH PLASTIC STRAWS…
“We started with plastic straws, but now we're going to the wider range of plastic utensils and other single-use plastics. They also harm our oceans and hurt marine life, and we don't want that to happen. We are asking people to try to use bamboo, paper, or metal straws instead of plastic or compostable. The compostable straws, they can't be composted in Marin because we don't have the facilities to get them hot enough to biodegrade, so they have to go in the trash. That means they can still get into the ocean and harm animals. We did pretty well with the plastic straws, but we want to go even farther and try to get rid of single-use plastics throughout Marin! We hope you can join us on our journey to stop using plastic only one time!”
We will continue to write our online journal as we continue our journey to ban single-use plastic in Marin County. You can still take the pledge to no longer use plastic straws to help us reach 200 signatures.
Where Does It Go, Joe?
Are compostable plastics really compostable? Can’t remember what goes where on trash day? Get answers to your pressing recycling questions on the Marin Sanitary District’s handy new web interface.
No Straws, Please!
In early 2018, EAC was contacted by third grader, Viola, who was deeply concerned about plastic in the environment and in the ocean. Viola was interested to see if she could make some changes in her local community to reduce single-use of plastic straws.
It was a perfect match! In the summer of 2017 EAC's college interns designed a project for West Marin to reduce plastic straw use. EAC shared our resources and agreed to sponsor the project and teamed Viola up with another local third grader, Reese.
The girls got to work, to begin a project about the dangers of straws with an action request to visit local restaurants to change to plastic straw alternatives and straws upon request.
BUSINESSES VISITED & using plastic alternatives
Since starting the project the girls (and staff) have met with several local businesses and Marin County District Four Supervisor. Stay tuned after the summer for more updates!
* Some of our allies in the disability community need straws. Those who have had a stroke, or have autism, MS, or another life changing physical issue may need a straw. Please ensure alternatives are available.
why ditch plastic straws?
Viola and Reese wrote a Letter to the Editor to the Point Reyes Light explaining their reasons:
"500 million straws are thrown away in the US every day. Straws may seem not that important but they don’t biodegrade, they just get broken into smaller pieces, which get eaten my marine animals. We need to stop using plastic straws."
Visit The Last Plastic Straw to learn more about the impact of single-use plastic straws on the environment.
Join Viola, Reese, and their classmates in signing a pledge to remind your waiter, "No straw, please".* Commit to using eco-friendly reusable straws like metal, bamboo, glass, or paper when you want a straw at home, and Bring Your Own Straw (BYOS). You'll be joining thousands across the U.S. in pledging to reduce single-use plastics that end up in our marine environment.
west marin businesses
West Marin businesses are invited to join the girls in refusing plastic straws and offering "straws upon request." *
Many businesses are up to the challenge! Thank you to Hog Island Oyster Co. for your pledge to use paper straws! Check back here for a map of restaurants as the girls secure more commitments from local restaurants -- and make sure you let your favorite restaurant know that you appreciate their commitment to cleaner oceans.
to our generous donor for making
our No Straw, Please Campaign possible