Beyond the Straw: Businesses Continue to Eliminate Single Use Plastics

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Earlier in 2018, I Love the Burg, City Councilwoman Gina Driscoll and dozens of local businesses in the Tampa Bay region made the pledge to serve customer single use plastic straws, only upon request. While the gesture was intended to help create a greater discussion about single use plastics, we’ve been impressed with how businesses have taken the issue upon themselves.

Having seen the impact of their effort first hand, with many reporting a reduction in the use of plastic straws of over 90%, we’ve seen dozens of instances of businesses going beyond just the straw. Here’s just a few examples of what we’ve seen….

Kava shop offers reusable cups and growlers

Grassroots Kava, one of our favorite spots to unwind on Central Avenue, has eliminated nearly all of its plastics. The kava house offers reusable growlers and mason jars so you can take your favorite soothing beverages to-go.

Styrofoam takeout containers are also in the process of being eliminated. A full ban on styrofoam is set to take effect in NYC on Jan. 1, 2018. Similar bans have taken root in California.

Cassis on Beach Drive is taking a note and transitioning to its own reusable to-go containers. Save room for dessert and take it home with you, that’s more our style.

Farmers market works to eliminate plastic

Soon, St. Pete’s favorite farmers market, the Saturday Morning Market, will go nearly plastic free — and its making every effort to support its vendors in doing so. You can help too, St. Pete residents! Don’t forget to bring your tote bags the next time you’re in the mood for fresh bread, hand-dyed fabrics and a local honey.

Love tacos? No, like really love tacos? Us too. Now we love one of our favorite St. Pete taco shops, Casita Taqueria, just a little bit more.

The restaurant is set to open its third location in the Burg in early 2019, and it looks to commit all of its branches to providing reusable containers.

We never make it out of Casita without ordering an extra taco (and churro) or two, so we plan on making generous use of those reusable containers.

Kahwa offers reusable glass straws

Local coffee shop Kahwa Coffee was one of the first businesses to join the No Straws movement. They have been selling hot coffee to go in recyclable cups even before it was hip to do so. They’ve taken it a step further with to-go iced drinks too where they use eco-friendly corn-based resin which are biodegradable. Their shops understand that taking your coffee on the go can be a bit precarious without the proper tool to sip and walk without a major spill. That’s why all Kahwa shops offer reusable glass straws for purchase that you can use wherever you go!

Love to shop local? Then odds are you’ve found yourself browsing the chic vendors at the St. Pete and Tampa Indie Flea events. The shopping extravaganzas, which feature artists, farmers, vintage collectors and more, is a zero waste and ocean-friendly event.

 

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There is nothing quite like bringing one of my daydreams to life! With the help of my handy husband, I have my mobile Seaside Straws boutique up and running on my tricycle! Now I just need some places in St Pete to welcome my little eco-shop to set up camp for a day?! Hey hey hey @craftkafe & you know I love ya @rollinoatsstpete ❤️ I’m just selling my Reusable Straw Pouches out of this baby as it’s such a relevant message & habit to spread in our sweet coastal town! Spread Peace | Not Plastic #dtsp #stpetersburgflorida #stpete #ilovetheburg #keepstpetelocal #skipthestraw #nostrawsstpete #saturdaymorningmarketstpete #seasidestraws #hype #igerstpete #stainlessstraw #reusablestraws #strawpouch #snuppets #spreadpeacenotplastic #saynotosingleuse #choosetoreuse #earthwarrior

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Indie flea bans single-use plastics

The organizers behind the Indie Flea enforce a ban on single-use plastic for all vendors. Instead, vendors are asked to use compostable, paper products.

Craft Kafe, a local gluten-free restaurant with two locations in the Burg now offers a 25 cent discount for customers who bring in their own personal cups. You know want to start your day with your favorite coffee from your favorite mug.

Dozens Go To Paper Containers

A major change comes in the form of what leaves to go home with you, not just in the establishment itself. Dozens of local players such as Cassis and Farmtable Cucina as well as national chains like Lucky’s Market have made the commitment to go above and beyond the elimination of plastic straws by opting for paper to go containers. Long gone are the bulky and highly toxic plastic to go containers replaced by biodegradable paper ones.

How other St. Pete spots are stepping up

Have you seen a Burg business make strides to be more eco-friendly? Let us know in the comments! We’d love to feature all of the efforts made in the Sunshine City to keep this city, this state and this planet beautiful.

Want to learn more about the No Straws Movement? Visit the official website for a list of participating businesses, and learn how you can get involved.

The featured image is one of I Love the Burg’s photos from the Saturday Morning Market of local vendor Spring Green Handbags.

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is in his third year as Writer/Editor of iLovetheBurg.com. New York Times bestselling author Andre Dubus III has said of him, “Andrew Harlan has a sharp and discerning eye for detail that deftly captures character and landscape." He has published fiction and poetry in Sabal and Prime Number Literary Magazine. He graduated with honors from Eckerd College in 2013 with a B.A. in Creative Writing and a minor in Literature. He can be reached by phone: (727) 896-3435 or email: andrew@rkc.me