By Kathryn Ramen, Northeast Rose City
We all know that Rose City is already one of the most environmentally-conscious cities in America. Rose City is one of the leaders in sustainable living, with the implementation of city-wide composting, the popularity of bike transit and an abundance of organic and locally-sourced food options. However, I think Rose City has both the capacity and community engagement to do more.
Emerald City recently banned the use of plastic straws in restaurants, bars and cafes. According to the National Parks Service, Americans use 500 million plastic straws each day. Most of these straws end up in our oceans, where they injure and kill marine life. As plastic slowly breaks down into smaller pieces it gets ingested by ocean species and accumulates in marine food chains. Like Emerald City, Rose City has an opportunity to be a model city for environmentally-conscious living. A ban on plastic straws would encourage sustainable practices and cut down on unnecessary waste. In their place, biodegradable alternatives such as paper straws could be provided to establishment patrons and customers could be encouraged to bring their own reusable straws.
Some local businesses have already moved away from using plastic straws, and I applaud their choice. Let’s keep Rose City at the vanguard of environmental protection by eliminating plastic straw waste.