Plans to continue 'Strawless Summer' mission as campaign ends


The Charleston Surfrider Foundation and several other organizations came together outside of the Tides hotel on Thursday night to celebrate the conclusion of the 2018 Strawless Summer campaign.

According to the Surfrider Foundation, more than 130 Charleston restaurants took the pledge to only provide straws to customers who specifically asked for them.

The foundation said the initiative also encouraged consumers to opt out of using straws when they ate at restaurants.

The Charleston Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and the Charleston Chapter of the US Bartender's Guild started this campaign in 2017.

More than 115 restaurants and bars participated in last year's Strawless Summer campaign.

This year, the campaign spread to other coastal cities across South Carolina. More than 800 bars and restaurants statewide took the pledge to ban single-use plastic straws this summer.

"Really, it's not just for summer," Charleston Chapter Surfrider Foundation representative Olivia Bueno said. "We're calling it the Endless Summer Campaign, and it's going to be going on throughout eternity, hopefully."

That commitment is one The Macintosh bar in downtown Charleston has already taken.

"You have some nay-sayers that say it doesn't really add up," The Macintosh Bar Manager Megan Deschaine said. "It does. And it gets some people talking and thinking about all of these other small choices you can make."

And the next step campaign organizers hope for is more local legislation that bans single-use plastic products.

Towns like Mount Pleasant, Folly Beach and Isle of Palms already have single-use plastic product bans.

A spokesperson from the City of Charleston said the Sustainability Committee is hoping to suggest legislation regarding single-use plastic products before January 1.

"When these bans are put in place, you do see a significant decrease in those debris items like plastic bags , straws, things like that ending up in our environment," Bueno said.

Copyright 2018 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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