Let’s change the way we treat our planet.

About Us

Our Story

Drop the Straw started out as campaign to ban plastic straws in the city of Vancouver. We feel strongly that straws are an unnecessary source of landfill waste and marine plastic pollution, and that a ban will help mitigate this problem. The ban will also raise awareness about the wider issues surrounding single-use plastics in the food and beverage industry.

Over the course of 2017 and 2018 we focused on targeted action to accomplish this goal. First, we worked with local hospitality industry business owners to encourage them to reduce waste by going straw-free. Melissa, Drop the Straw’s founder, went door to door for a year, meeting directly with local business owners to collect their feedback on this issue, and to see what measures they felt would be practical for their individual businesses. The results were a petition in support of stricter measures surrounding plastic straws and other single-use items, and a set of recommendations to City Council about how to ensure any policies enacted are both effective at reducing plastic waste and practical for restaurants, bars, and quick-service establishments.

We felt strongly that local businesses, both small and large, who want to see positive change in our city deserved a voice and the opportunity to shape the municipal policies that directly affect their industry. To facilitate this we reached out to the office of Mayor Gregor Robertson, as well as city staff and the Zero Waste 2040 team to present our petition and ensure these voices were heard. Both the Mayor’s Office and city staff were receptive to our message, and as a result chose to include a ban on plastic straws in the Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy that was approved on May 18th, 2018. The ban will come into effect on June 1st, 2019, and we couldn’t be more proud of our municipal government for taking leadership and making the right choice on this issue!

Where We’re Headed

City Council has approved the ban we fought for, but our job isn’t over. Drop the Straw is now focused on continued outreach to local food and beverage businesses to help them transition smoothly to straw-free beverage service, and to help them find creative solutions to reduce single-use plastic waste in all its forms. In the coming months we’ll continue to interact with the Vancouver restaurant industry to help businesses find waste reducing solutions that are practical for their individual businesses. If you own, manage, or work at business in Vancouver and want to be proactive about going straw-free, finding sustainable alternatives, and reducing your overall environmental footprint, please feel free to contact us at dropthestraw@gmail.com

Who We Are

Melissa Donich
Founder and Campaign Manager
Melissa is a teacher with the Vancouver School Board and an avid outdoor enthusiast. She founded Drop the Straw in 2017 with the goal of encouraging restaurants to eliminate an unnecessary source of plastic waste in marine ecosystems.

Chris Bouzanis
Creative Director
Chris has over 15 years of experience in the restaurant industry and has worked as a chef, bartender, server, and manager in restaurants in five different countries. He was motivated to join the campaign by a desire to help change the industry for the better and reduce its environmental footprint.

Jeff Laine
Graphic Designer
Jeff Laine is the owner of Asterix Studio and created the Drop The Straw logos and promotional materials. You can find out more about his work and past projects at http://asterixstudio.com/ He can be contacted at jeff@asterixstudio.com

Andrew McNiece
Website Designer

Supporters

previous arrow
next arrow
PlayPause
ArrowArrow
Slider

 

Join the team and show your support in Vancouver!

 

Alternatives

Glass or stainless steel reusable straws are the best options for bars and restaurants. While their initial purchase may seem expensive compared to traditional plastics, they eliminate the cost of constantly restocking straws, resulting in significant savings in the long term. They are no different from any other piece of cutlery or glassware a restaurant provides for their guests.

Reusable glass straws are available for purchase through The Last Straw Co. – https://www.laststrawco.ca/

Paper straws are a viable option for quick service businesses and restaurants that offer takeaway beverages. We strongly encourage business to adopt a “straw on-request” policy, rather than automatically placing these straws in guests’ drinks. Compostable and biodegradable plastics often require commercial composting facilities for their breakdown to be completely effective. For this reason, we feel paper straws are the best alternative to traditional plastics in terms of their end of life outcome. Coupled with an on-request straw policy, paper alternatives can help reduce environmental impact and business costs.

Paper straws are available for purchase through Greenmunch 

Wholesale: http://www.greenmunch.ca/wholesale/

Personal: http://www.greenmunch.ca/paper-straws/

Contact

If you’re hospitality industry business owner or manager, or anyone interested in helping create positive change in Vancouver, fill out the form below to get in touch with us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!