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Hawaii to Say “Aloha!” to Plastic Straws

By Fredrica Syren:

The paradise of Hawaii is working on saying “Aloha!” to single-use plastic straws, as Bill 2285 is making its way to approval. This bill will ban use of these straws for any reason in the entire state of Hawaii. Offenders will be fined as well as sentenced to community service, which involves trash pick-up in public spaces.

When we were in Maui last week, we discovered that many businesses — restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream places, bars and hotels — have jumped ahead of the ban and have transitioned from plastic straws to compostable paper straws despite the expense.

I spoke to one manager of a major restaurant chain who told me that, sure, its a little more costly and that paper straws are not as durable as plastic ones, but its the right thing to do.

Considering that plastic straws are among the top 10 items collecting along the world’s shorelines and that Americans use about 500 million straws each day (enough to circle the earth two and a half times), I’m glad to see businesses are taking this seriously.

 Too many disposable plastic straws are ending up in the ocean. As with anything made of plastic, they don’t degrade naturally; they will stay in a landfill or, worse, in the ocean. Here, these straws eitherwillbe consumed by aquatic organisms or will float as makeshift islands … forever. Furthermore, when plastics such as straws do begin to degrade, they release harmful toxins like polypropylene, thus harming marine life and plants.

 So, make this summer the time for your plastic straw-free pledge and say no thank you to disposable plastic straws!

 To learn more about plastic straws and bans check out their links:

  Make straws suck less: Switch to these paper ones that help fund sea turtle research

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About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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