Twelve Blacksburg restaurants have signed a pledge to swap plastic straws for paper, metal, or nothing at all.
Pledge organizers don’t want to stop there — many hope to soon expand the list to 20.
Some individuals with disabilities need straws to drink so you won’t see them disappear entirely.
However, there’s a chance you’ll be given a paper straw like this one, a metal straw, or will have to ask your server specifically.
Staff at Gillie’s restaurant in Blacksburg estimate between 500 and 1,000 people come through their doors every week.
Before the business moved away from plastic straws earlier this year, that meant about one straw per person, or several pounds of un-recyclable plastic every few days.
“Every bit helps. You know? I mean even if you’re not going to- we’re not going to make a huge change, but we’re at least attempting to make a change. And I think if you don’t even make an attempt, then you’re just throwing in the towel,” said Cook Noah Gillie.
Gillie tells WFXR News that his family’s restaurant moved toward paper straws even before Starbucks set a national trend in July.
He says he’s proud that Gillie’s also recycles, uses compostable to-go boxes, and is even looking toward things like paper lids on to-go cups.
He adds that every paper straw is a cent or two more than plastic, but that the transition has been pretty painless in general.