Vacationing at the shore is a special rite of passage for many families. So too is enjoying a cold drink on a hot day at the beach.
However, the experience has changed a bit for the many families flocking to Ocean City, Maryland this summer.
Oh, the beach is still there. And there is no lack of cold drinks. What is lacking for many visitors is the ability to suck up those cold drinks with a plastic straw.
And that’s a good thing, if you ask us.
So, here’s what we’re talking about. The bustling vacation spot has embraced the “Strawless Summer” program launched by the local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.
The idea is to raises awareness of plastic pollution by encouraging restaurants, residents and visitors to stop using the plastic straws that pollute the ocean and endanger humans and sea critters.
“It’s not going to solve everything, but it certainly is a start to raise awareness,” said Jane Robinson, chair of the local Surfrider Foundation.
Dozens of restaurants and hundreds of locals are on board with the initiative. Visitors are given straws if they request them or they’re offered environmentally friendly alternatives.
“I look at this as a positive for tourism,” said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Melanie Pursel. “I think it’s going to be trendy, if you will, to not use a straw.”
Strawless Summer is the town’s first step towards reducing pollution. Some environmentalists are targeting Styrofoam for 2019.
Established in 1999, the Ocean City Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation joins a total of 162 chapters and clubs taking action all across the United States.
If you’re heading to Ocean City, please be prepared to sign this pledge:
I won’t use plastic straws during the summer of 2018.
I’ll let restaurant waitstaff know ahead of time that I don’t want a straw.
If needed, I’ll obtain an environmentally-friendly straw and bring it with me.
Plastic straws are now banned from Miami Beach. On June 1, Malibu started enforcing the ban on the use, distribution and sale of single-use plastic straws, drink stirrers and cutlery. And on July 1, Seattle’s ban on plastic straws and cutlery went into effect.
The movement to curb the use of straws and other single-use plastics is spreading coast to coast. Will you join the cause?
Keeping our coast clear