It’s Time to Say “No Straw, Please”

smith and associates

I’ve known Gina Driscoll for a while and had the recent occasion for a post-election catchup, in her new role as city councilwoman.

As the publisher of this community website and resident of downtown, Gina’s district, I of course wanted to know about the issues important to her. There were many, though plastic straws is something that’s been on my mind.

Many of us have seen the horrific video of a straw being painfully extracted from a sea turtle’s nose. Yet, sometimes it’s hard to get past the headlines to understand the real meaning for Florida– and it’s not pretty. Let’s paint a picture…

American’s use 500 million plastic straws a day, nearly a third of which will wind up in our oceans. That fact in a state with over 1,300 miles of coastline and an economy largely built on tourism makes plastic straws ground zero when it comes to single use plastics for Florida.

Setting out to see who we might get involved in an effort to reduce plastic straw usage in St. Pete, we learned that it wasn’t just an issue people were already thinking about, they were planning to do something about it.

With the support of Bank OZK and 20 local businesses, who all jumped in support without second thought, committed to the simple act of allowing guests to request a straw, we can empower discussion that leads to understanding of an issue that is, quite frankly, plaguing our oceans. Hopefully, that discussion will evolve into something even greater than a ban or restriction, whereby a 100% voluntary businesses-led effort made the job of government, even easier.

Yes, 20 is just a start in St. Pete’s growing restaurant scene, but the names on hand… 2nd and Second, Cassis, Wooden Rooster, The Mill, Intermezzo Cafe, Il Ritorno, Station House, Cordova Inn, Barefoot Beach Club, Hotel Cabana, Ichicoro Ane, Tryst, Banyan Cafe, Three Birds Tavern, Pom Poms, The Avenue, Park & Rec, King’s Street Food, Sea Salt, and Kahwa Coffee… are impressive.

Visit for the pitch and remember saying “no straw, please” is all it takes to begin saving the planet, one drink at a time.

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Written by Brian Bailey


Brian Bailey is the founder of I Love the Burg and That's So Tampa. In addition to regular contributions to each blog, he's been featured as a commentator to Bay New 9, The Tampa Tribune, The Tampa Bay Times, The Tampa Bay Business Journal and The Business Observer as well as national outlets including The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal. Brian is currently the Chief Marketing & Experience Officer for Metro Inclusive Health.