Major restaurant chains across Canada are joining the movement to reduce the global impact of discarded plastic on the environment and wildlife. Canadians use about 57 million straws a day, and only 20 percent are recycled.
The movement reportedly started in 2015, after a video of a sea turtle with a 12 cm plastic straw lodged inside his nostril went viral on YouTube. The heartbreaking video has been viewed 30 million times and sparked a government-mandated ban on plastic straws in the U.K.
Warning: This video contains graphic content that may be disturbing to some readers.
One of Canada's biggest restaurant companies, Recipe Unlimited Corporation, has confirmed their participation in the movement. Recipe Unlimited says they've officially started phasing out plastic straws at 19 of their restaurant chains.
By March 2019, Recipe Unlimited says that plastic straws will cease to exist at these popular restaurants in Canada:
- Swiss Chalet
- Kelseys Original Roadhouse
- Milestones Grill and Bar
- Montana's BBQ & Bar
- East Side Mario's
- Bier Markt
- St. Hubert
- Casey's Grill & Bar
- New York Fries
- Pickle Barrel
- The Burger's Priest
- Original Joe's
- State & Main
- Elephant & Castle
- The Keg
Recipe Unlimited says that biodegradable paper straws will be offered on request as an alternative. Customers at fast food joints like New York Fries and Burger's Priest will automatically receive a paper straw with their order.
Other food service companies like A&W Canada and Ikea Canada have also committed to the plastic straw ban.
“Our goal is to enrich life in Canada…and that extends beyond our restaurants and guests, to our oceans, wildlife and environment,” CEO Frank Hennessey said in a press release, “Straws are just one component of the work we’re undertaking to eliminate single-use plastics from our supply chain and shift to recyclable or compostable materials wherever possible.”
In the U.K., Prime Minister Theresa May is even pushing a complete ban on the sale of all single-use plastics, like cotton swabs. We think it's only a matter of time before the Canadian government follows suit.