WALL-E was basically swimming in straws

By Catherine Zhang
Updated February 13, 2018
Credit: photo by GoodLifeStudio via getty images

This is the last straw. If there’s a lesson to be learned from Chicago restaurant group DMK, it’s that little changes make a huge difference when it comes to environmental responsibility. After partnering with the Shedd Aquarium for Earth Day this year, DMK Restaurant Group announced on June 28 in an Instagram post that they will no longer be using plastic straws in all of their restaurants. “Americans use an estimated 500 million plastic straws daily! We can no longer be a part of this, so we are eliminating them from our 14 national restaurants,” they wrote.

The Chicago Athletic Hotel also announced that it would make the transition to using only biodegradable paper straws.

The Shedd Aquarium introduced the #SheddTheStraw campaign to encourage Chicagoans to recycle their waste and also cut down on their single-use plastic consumption. They took the initiative to eliminate plastic straws from their cafes.

Some restaurants follow an offer-first policy as a best practice. When asking customers if the want straws with their drinks, more than half of them decline.

Besides DMK Restaurant Group, three upscale San Diego restaurants owned by Hakkasan Group have also pledged to provide straws only when customers request them.

In Charleston, South Carolina, the Strawless Summer Challenge is underway to prompt bars and restaurants to stop using plastic straws through August. So far, more than 30 restaurants have signed on to join the challenge.