Straw usage goes down in Iowa City

Many local restaurants are seeing a decreased use in straws from customers and are acting on it.

Alexandra Skores, News Reporter

Local Iowa City restaurants have decided to take part in decreasing straw use, and many encourage others to continue this environmentally friendly trend.

Pullman Bar & Diner’s general manager, Brittany Quaid, said Pullman does not serve any of its beverages with straws. The restaurant even purchased new small Mason jars with sip lids so there is no need for straws.

Additionally, if a bartender needs to perform a “straw test,” Pullman has purchased metal straws.

“We have been pushing our environmental initiative to decrease our footprint, decrease waste, and be more conscious,” Quaid said. “Taking away straws was honestly the easiest part of this bigger issue. Plus, having the kids from the Preucil preschool come visit us this summer to thank us for not using straws and for saving the turtles really gave us the warm fuzzies, reaffirming our decision to be more conscious.”

Quaid said Pullman will continue to decrease straw use in the future and supports the decreasing use of straws in Iowa City.

“From a business standpoint, I understand metal and paper straws have a higher cost,” Quaid said. “However, with reduced use and the reusable aspect of things like metal straws and washable kids’ cups that would otherwise be disposable, it is bringing down costs of those things in the long run while helping the environment.”

Danny Standley, managing partner of Big Grove Brewery, said both the Solon and Iowa City locations are taking part in the #SuckLess movement, and both establishments serve almost all drinks without straws.

RELATED: Iowa City preschoolers want to spread the word: plastic straws hurt baby turtles

“It’s a problem with a somewhat simple solution,” Standley said. “We would like to head in a direction that helps create a better environment and community.”

Standley said Big Grove will continue to use fewer straws until it reaches zero.

Popular bars in Iowa City have also noticed the decrease in straw use by patrons and are making note of it.

Airliner general manager Patrick McBreen said that establishment does use straws in both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks. However, it has monitored the use of straws.

McBreen said the Airliner has noticed a decrease in use overall.

“Although we have not taken part in a formal initiative to remove straws, we have been looking into our customers’ use in them,” he said. “I personally have noticed more ecologically friendly packaging and disposable goods for restaurants to consider.”

McBreen said he supports the decrease in straw use and believes Iowa City will continue to take advantage of other options beyond straw use, “as long as they make sense.”

Brad Temple, managing partner of the Summit, said that business will continue to serve straws during the daytime, but at night, straws only go to those who ask for one.

Temple said many servers say customers still ask for straws. However, he does not support the decreased use of straws.

“I think the whole scenario with not using straws and shaming those that do is ridiculous,” Temple said. “Children, disabled people, and other groups need straws. Some say they need to bring their own straws. Why is that fair?”

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