Scrapping Straws: Restaurant owner works to eliminate them by 2020

(Fox10 News)

Some big companies have announced plans to change the way they serve you drinks at restaurants, by changing the type of straws they use.

In Orange Beach, Cosmo’s Restaurant & Bar said it is all about the environment.

For the last several years they have used compostable to-go cups, but now the straw that goes into them will also be changing.

They say their proximity to the water means they need to be good neighbors to the sea turtles nesting nearby.

It is the one common thing at every restaurant, but now an Orange Beach restaurant owner is getting ready to change the way you take a sip.

“As citizens of the world, we have to do our part as well and restaurants are notorious for creating quite a bit of waste and wherever we can we want to reduce that and do the right thing,” said Brian Harsany, the owner of Cosmo’s Restaurant & Bar.

He said he wants to make the straws he serves to customers more Eco-friendly and at some point nixing them all together.

“It has been very, very favorable, we have had a few people make comments, but for the most part very positive,” he said.

Harsany’s push is part of a broad effort in the restaurant industry to make the switch to more sustainable practices.

“We’ve made steps in the past to get the ball rolling to be more environmentally wise and it really helps us when large corporations are stepping up and seeing there’s a need to eliminate plastics and other harmful things from the environment,” he said.

Angela Underwood at the Weeks Bay Reserve said all these changes at restaurants hopefully will mean less plastic off our coast.

“It’s actually one a bigger problem then we think, but it’s one of the easiest problems for us to personally take care of because it’s something we as a culture can personally make the decision not to use or to use a product that is more sustainable,” she said.

Back at Cosmo’s, some customers are all for the move.

“I do think it’s important to watch out for the wildlife and I think it’s great they’re doing something like this,” said Audrey Ray, a customer at the restaurant. “I am a huge straw fan, my teeth are cold sensitive so I love a good straw and I haven’t noticed any difference.”

Harsany has been testing the new straws at Cosmo’s for the last few weeks, but when he wanted to make the change at all of his restaurants, the supplier couldn’t keep up.

“It’s a great problem to have that they don’t have the supply to keep up because I know that they will and I know that means the demand from that many people want to do the right thing,” he said.

The right thing to protect those who call the water home.

“The biggest part is I want to enjoy sea turtles and I want generations after generations to enjoy sea turtles, sea life. Plastics, microplastics they’re all doing great damage to our oceans,” Harsany said.

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