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The Last Straw

Rhody businesses are riding the no-plastic wave to a greener ocean

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It’s easy to take the impact of plastic straws for granted, but imagine if every straw you have ever used suddenly appeared in your living room. According to National Geographic, eight million tons of plastic trash makes its way into the ocean every year. This sobering statistic, not to mention heartbreaking photos of the direct and often fatal impact of plastic waste on marine life, is a call to action that local restaurants, cafes, and businesses are responding to by trying to get away from wasteful plastic products. The most visible mascot of this green movement is the humble straw. Places like Wildflour in Pawtucket and The Power of Juice in Middletown have ditched the ubiquitous plastic tube for reusable glass straws that customers can purchase and – get this – use with every beverage they’ll ever need a straw for. Coffee truck Presto Strange O, Impact Everything on Providence’s Thayer Street and Federal Hill favorite Pastiche Fine Desserts sell metal varieties, while other businesses are switching to more eco-friendly paper options. Think of it as one small sip for you, one giant slurp for Rhode Island’s oceans. It’s all for the good of the planet, after all, and that doesn’t suck.