Jersey Shore restaurant owner bans plastic straws

Posted: Updated:
SEA BRIGHT -

A Jersey Shore restaurant owner says that he will no longer use plastic straws at his establishments due to environmental concerns.

Tim McLoone runs 11 restaurants in coastal towns and decided to ditch plastic straws in favor of papers ones a few months ago.

“We have four restaurants on the water and we live and make our money here and to think about how people can so casually pollute and not even meaning anything by it,” McLoone says.

Plastic straws are often discarded improperly and end up on the beach and in the ocean, according environmentalists.

“We had almost a 60 percent increase in the amount of plastic straws found on New Jersey’s beaches during our beach sweeps,” says coastal watershed protection coordinator Alison McCarthy.

McLoone says that he asked environmental group Clean Ocean Action to audit his restaurant Rum Runners and issue suggestions on how they could improve when it comes to being environmentally friendly. He says that switching to paper straws was the first easy step.

“Every time [customers] think they need a straw, they’re asking a question about the environment. We do provide straws upon request,” McLoone says. “We don’t just automatically give someone a paper straw. Now they’ve got to ask for a straw and when they ask for it they have to think about what they’re doing.”

Clean Ocean Action says that the group has organized two beach cleanups a year for the last 20 years and have found 410,322 straws.

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