IN a bid to reduce plastic waste, some eateries have stopped serving single-use plastic straws with their drinks.
As an alternative, the Mockingbird Cafe in Kuala Lumpur serves their cold drinks with reusable stainless steel straws.
“Stainless steel straws not only look trendy but it is also a good start to being a bit greener. We have to start somewhere,” says the cafe owner, Elaine Lamb.
Lamb says that her customers would sometimes ask why she uses metal straws.
“Some of them ask about the hygiene of metal straws. I would tell them that we wash them very thoroughly and we soak them overnight,” she says.
“These metal straws are a great conversation starter and it is a good way to raise awareness and educate the public on the bad effects of plastic and plastic straws,” she adds.
Lamb says that she aims for Mockingbird Cafe to be plastic-free. It will soon stop giving away plastic cutlery for takeaways.
“Some people expect plastic cutlery and a plastic container with a plastic bag. They are not informed about the detrimental effects of these plastics,” she says.
Bubbles Dive Resort in Perhentian Island also stopped serving plastic straws at their restaurant on May 31.
“Earlier in March, we started promoting ‘No Straw Please’ at our restaurant by asking all our guests whether they really need a straw,” said Bubbles Dive Resort marketing director Peisee Hwang.
“In our nightly ‘turtle talk’ with our resort guests, we spread awareness of how much single use plastic product was being discarded and ended up in the ocean,” she says.
Hwang says that the staff have witnessed first-hand the amount of plastic that has been washed up ashore, besides dead sea creatures.
“We have seen how coral died of suffocation because it was covered by a big plastic bag,” she says.
Hwang says that the staff have rescued some aquatic creatures suspected of ingesting plastic.
“Our customers have been fully supportive and appreciative of our efforts,” Hwang says.
“A lot of them bought metal and bamboo straws from us so they can carry it with them on their travels.”
Hwang says that Bubbles Dive Resort would order paper straws and stocks bamboo straws from Bali. It plans to source their bamboo straws from the orang asli.