Gainesville is looking to become a zero-waste city by 2040. According to Gainesville city commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos, eliminating plastic straws may be a big step toward that goal.
“They don’t degrade,” Hayes-Santos said. “They get into our creeks, and they go into our prairie, and they go into our oceans, as well.”
Starbucks recently announced that it will switch to a new plastic lid, which is recyclable, and stop using the non-recyclable plastic straws.
Hayes-Santos said this change is encouraging more businesses to make similar changes.
Loosey’s, a restaurant in downtown Gainesville, made the change to paper straws about six months ago.
Jacob Adams, the manager for UF Sustainability, shared ways beyond straws that individuals can work toward zero-waste. He said he keeps reusable straws, cups, bags and to-go containers with him.
Adams said it’s a small step we can all make toward a bigger change.