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 grew up in Jupiter, Florida where he began his career in radio and TV broadcasting for over 12 years. He would make a career change to computer programming. Andy spent seven years working for tech companies in Atlanta before moving to Indian River County in 2002. He returned to the news sector in 2005 as a writer. Andy joined Sebastian Daily in 2016 as our editor in chief.