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Campaign To Say Bye To The Bondi Straw

By Marcus Braid on July 7, 2015 in News

Photo: John Thistlewaite

Photo: John Thistlewaite

Drinking straws are fairly redundant contraptions these days, yet their use and disposal is responsible for a large amount of litter. In light of this, a campaign has started to ban drinking straws in Bondi.

‘The Last Straw’ campaign is asking local clubs, pubs, cafes and bars to eradicate single-use plastic straws from Bondi Beach by the end of 2015, and it is attracting support from local businesses.

Centred on a petition, ‘The Last Straw Coalition’ has been joined by local environmental groups including the Surfrider Foundation, which has recently launched a new branch in Bondi.

“It’s a quirky campaign, and it’s pretty simple and straight forward,” Jessica Hensman from the Surfrider Foundation said. “Ultimately the campaign is about bringing people into a larger issue: the issue of plastic pollution.”

With almost 90 percent of marine debris on Sydney beaches made up of plastic – mostly bottles, caps and straws – taking decisive action to wipe out single-use plastic straws in Bondi represents a big step towards protecting the local environment.

“The reason we chose Bondi was because it’s such an iconic Australian coastal location,” Ms Hensman said.

“Plastic waste has almost tripled on Bondi Beach since 2011 and it’s time we did something about it.”

Single-use plastics, like straws, are used for under four minutes but can take over 400 years to break down into plastic powder.

“Plastic pollution is a pretty big issue, so we decided to target a particular single use plastic item and scale down the issue to a smaller tangible product,” Ms Hensman said.

“When you think about all the different plastic items that we use, straws are probably the item we use for the least amount of time. They’re also something that you don’t actually need.”

Two local venues – the Bucket List and Moo Burgers – have signed the pledge to phase out single-use plastic straws by the end of the year, and more expected to get on board.

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