16 Jul, 2018

The Last Straw: straw responsible venues on the Sunshine Coast


As awareness grows about the disastrous effects plastic straws have on our environment, more venues that serve drinks are considering reducing or eliminating single-use plastic straws from their beverage services.

The Last Straw is an Australian-based movement that aims to reduce the use of plastic straws in cafés, bars and restaurants across the country, with a dedicated program that assists venues to make the change.

The organisation’s vision is to change the culture around unnecessary plastic straw use, encouraging venues to be straw responsible, and inviting individuals to order their drinks straw-free. Approximately 20 million fewer straws have been used as a result of the initiative since 2015.

With 155 member venues and more signing up every week, the drive for places that serve drinks to reduce their use of unnecessary plastic straws is gaining momentum.

Several Sunshine Coast venues have already taken The Last Straw pledge to become straw responsible or have made their own public commitments to being straw-free including:

Spicer Tamarind and Spicers Clovelly Estate are among the Sunshine Coast business that have committed to being straw-responsible. Pictured above are several of Spicers tasty beverages served straw-free!

The challenge has been enthusiastically embraced by staff and customers at Spicers venues according to Sustainability Officer Alice Dahlberg, who said that with 100,000 dinner guests in their restaurants in 2017, the small change had resulted in a significant reduction in plastic waste.

“Plastic straws are too small to be recycled in an efficient way and ultimately affect the ocean and its ecosystems,” Alice said. “Our teams are passionate about reducing the environmental impact of plastic straws, our chefs noting that what our fish eat, ultimately we eat.”

For cafés, restaurants and bars that are interested in making the change to straw-free but unsure where to start, The Last Straw provides a fully supported program help them reduce straw use including social media content, posters and training guides. Venues that have committed to the challenge are listed on The Last Straw website.

Some of the proactive measures taken by venues to date include placing small signs in bars advising customers of their straw-responsible approach and offering the option of a reusable bamboo or paper straw where a straw is preferred.

“The key challenges to being straw responsible for Spicers were mainly around educating our guests and team members as to why we are not serving plastic straws,” Alice said.

“People love to be part of the solution but many find it quite daunting and don’t know where to start. By demonstrating that making small changes can directly impact the future we are creating encourages everyone to make changes in their own lives.”

Solbar in Maroochydore became a straw-free enterprise back in July 2017, saving an average of 5000 plastic straws every week!

Sunshine Coast Council is also getting on board with phasing out single-use straws, and other single-use plastics. Council unanimously supported a notice of motion in June 2018 to phase out single-use items at council-managed facilities and council-run events, in recognition of the significant environmental impacts resulting from plastic waste.

Venues interested in joining The Last Straw challenge can sign up at thelaststraw.com.au.

Other venues across the Sunshine Coast that are known to be straw-free (or only use non-plastic straw alternatives include:

Do you know a straw-free venue on the Sunshine Coast that Living Smart can add to this list? Let us know below or email us and we will continue to update the list with the most current information available.

Updated July 2019

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