Ottawa restaurants and big chains like Starbucks go straw free

More than a dozen restaurants and bars in Ottawa have ditched plastic straws as part of the ‘Last Straw Ottawa’ campaign.

Johnny Farina, Evoo Greek Kitchen, Joey Rideau, Giovanni’s Restaurant, The Junxion Public House, Fauna, Eddy’s Dinner, Wilf & Ada’s, Andaz Hotel, Whalesbone, Pomeroy House, Black Squirrel, Datsun, Town, Bar Laurel, El Camino, La Roma, The Wood on Wellington, and Churchills have all stopped using straws, according to organizers. 

Starting July seventh, these bars and restaurants vowed to stop serving drinks with plastic straws in an effort to protect the environment.

Dino Iafelice from Johnny Farina says he was inspired to join on after seeing the viral video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw struck in its nostril.

“It just kind of hit us,” Iafelice said. “It was brought to our attention maybe a year ago about doing something like this … finally we were approached by Last Straw Ottawa and we felt it was time.”

Corina Cote is a member from Last Straw Ottawa. She says the campaign started in Toronto and was picked up across the country.

“It all started in Toronto with two industry veterans that worked in the hospitality business, and realized plastic straws and so much industry waste was going into our ocean ways and really affected our marine life,” Cote said.

Some of the restaurants involved have chosen to keep straws on site on a request only basis, others have switched to paper straws, or have gotten rid of straws completely.

The changes come the same week Starbucks announced it will also be eliminating single-use plastic straws from all of its locations by 2020.

"This is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways," said Starbucks President and CEO, Kevin Johnson.