2018 Jul 17
Every day plastic paves its way a little more into our lives than it did the last day even though we may not be aware of it. Plastic straws, as harmless as they may seem bring about more damage than we can imagine. In terms of harming marine wildlife and exposing us and our adored animals to toxins and harmful chemicals, plastic straws pile up for centuries albeit used for minutes!
So, in order to put an end to this vicious cycle, here are a few tips on how we can help our ecosystems by going plastic straw free in Sri Lanka.
1. Switch to reusable straws
There are a variety of options to choose from when it comes to reusable straws. Bamboo reusable straws are an eco-friendly alternative and these are available at Cane Craft, and Simply Eco – Sri Lanka so do check their Facebook and Instagram feeds out and purchase a few of these. You just need to wash them with warm water and detergent, and sundry them and voila, you’ve got yourself a reusable straw.
Then there are the paper straws, far less durable but are still better than plastic! You can find these in your trusty party stores like The Party Station, Colombo 04; Party Avenue, Colombo 05 and Jiggles Store, Colombo 05.
Moreover, stainless steel and glass straws are making their way into the utensil market in Colombo, slowly but surely which can be found at Miniso outlets and also at Bhumi on IG (they have the cutest rose gold stainless steel straws).
2. Politely say NO!
The next time your bartender or waiter brings you a straw to accompany your drink, just politely say no and maybe even urge them to go plastic free as well. Better yet, when ordering your drink specifically mention that you would prefer to sip your drink and therefore will not be needing a straw.
Even with your takeaway, say “no straw, please” so that the next time you are getting takeout you can take your refillable bottle out (more on that later) and refuse the plastic straws they provide you.
3. Choose to visit or dine at establishments that have gone plastic straw free
There are various restaurants that practice a no plastic straw policy in house like Café Raw, Plus Nine Four SL, Kumbuk Café and Café Nuga. There are other restaurants that have ditched plastic straws as well but still use plastic straws for delivery and takeaway so choose to dine-in at the restaurant thereby not using a plastic straw yourself and also reducing their plastic straw distribution by one. Despite this seeming minuscule, if everyone in Sri Lanka opted to do this, we will be making a huge difference in our pollution rates. Also, choose to visit establishments that have ditched plastic straws like Avani Hotels and Resorts and Anantara Hotels and Resorts (as of 2018, they are plastic straw free!)
4. Carry a refillable bottle or cup with an attached reusable straw
We all owned one of these at some point in our lives and it is time to bring them back. Just head out to the closest Arpico and we assure you, you will find these. They come in various shapes and sizes and are super portable and handy. They are not only versatile but are very easy to maintain because all you have to do is sterilize them after use and you’re good to go.
5. Start at home and spread the word!
Practice the use of reusable straws at home and educate your family on the dangers of plastic straws. Make this an initiative to finally go plastic free, which is of course the bigger picture here. Urge the people closest to you to do the same and spread the word.
So there you have it fellow Lankans! Follow these tips and make a difference today.
Did we miss any tips out? Do let us know in the comments below!