Patrons of C’est Chesse in Port Jefferson won’t be “grasping at straws” in order to protect the environment now that its owner has pledged to ditch single use plastic straws in favor of biodegradable paper ones. The eatery is the latest to join the Strawless Suffolk initiative sponsored by the Surfrider Foundation’s Eastern Long Island Chapter, Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn and the Single Use Plastic Reduction Task Force she created earlier this year.
Strawless Suffolk organizers hope to convince 100 restaurants in seaside downtowns like Bellport, Greenport, Huntington, Northport, Patchogue, and Port Jefferson Village, who rely upon pristine waterfronts, to take a pledge to stop using plastic straws. Restaurants that agree to take the pledge will be provided with a decal to identify the establishments as a Strawless Suffolk participating restaurant. To be eligible for recognition, restaurants can elect to pursue one or all of three scenarios: stop using straws completely; provide biodegradable straws made from paper or bamboo upon request; and/or provide reusable straws made of stainless steel or glass.
It is estimated that every day Americans discard a half a billion plastic straws – enough to wrap around the Earth 2.5 times – many of which find their way into oceans and inland waterways endangering marine life and littering shorelines.