Could paper straws be Sebastian’s new trend?

Paper straws in Sebastian, Florida.
Paper straws in Sebastian, Florida.

SEBASTIAN – People have seen it all from whales with bellies full of plastic to a video showing a turtle with a plastic straw in its nose.

Last year, Sebastian Daily raised the question to Mayor Jim Hill if the City of Sebastian plans to ban plastic straws, but he said the council hasn’t discussed it. Several cities in Florida are setting the plastic straw ban, although some haven’t been successful.

Along some of the shorelines in Sebastian, you can often find plastic straws that were discarded, along with cups and other trash. Most people suggest that the problem are the cups, not the straws.

In a push to be more environmentally conscious in Sebastian, Mulligan’s Beach House dumped the plastic for paper straws. We visited the restaurant and tried one of their paper straws at the bar. The first couple of sips were great, but then our drinks began to taste like paper towards the end.

Metal straws are another alternative, but all these options don’t come cheap. Crab E Bills in Sebastian is already using hemp straws.

“We’ve been using hemp straws for about a year at Crab E Bills Market,” Restaurant owner Bill Crab E Tiedge told Sebastian Daily.

Paper and biodegradable straws are between three and seven times more expensive than plastic straws. That cost could increase menu prices if other restaurants & bars choose to adopt the latest trend.

A 2017 study published in Science Advances magazine estimates 4 to 12 million metric tons of plastic waste generated on land entered the world’s oceans in 2010 alone.

When dining at the Captain Hirams Resort inside Blackfins, you have to ask for straws.

This past week, we asked several patrons at Capt Hirams Resort, Tiki Bar & Grill, and Earl’s Hideaway Lounge what they thought about paper straws. Some liked the idea, others said they don’t see a need to make the switch.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland and raised in Jupiter, Florida. Andy has been a radio & TV personality since the 1980s. He has worked for WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. After spending 7 years in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1990s, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2000. In 2005, he returned to the broadcasting news sector and eventually joined our news team in 2016 as editor in chief. Andy's family has lived in Sebastian for more than 45 years.