Reducing Waste in 2018 Part 1: Refuse the Straw

I hope everyone had a magical festive season whether you went away or stayed at home, whether you spent it amongst loved ones or indulged in some alone time.


As 2018 is upon us and in full swing already, everyone is looking back to reflect, and forward to resolve.

I’d like to spend this year looking at sustainable ways to start reducing our waste with one practical way per month. This month, we’re refusing straws. The goal is, by the end of January, to have completely eradicated plastic straws from our lives.

We may all be aware of how much plastic straws suck and there may be some of us who don’t even use them, but there are endless streams of people and places that are ignorant to any problems there may be to the plastic straw.

I’d like to encourage everyone with a few of the following tips:

  • Refuse a straw the minute you order whilst out.
    • This is a habit that needs forming and perhaps we need some fun ways to get into this habit – some stores put unopened straws on a table but you’d be surprised how many places put open straws inside drinks.
  • Sip or ask for a spoon and stop sucking on plastic.
  • If you absolutely need a straw please consider purchasing a reusable straw – bamboo or stainless steel or glass – and practice getting in the habit of keeping it in your bag much as you would your wallet.
    • I challenge you to try going to the cinema with your reusable straw and refuse their plastic straw (and the slushy lid) whilst enjoying your slushy. And, use your reusable straw whilst out at the shops or your favourite spot and tweak people’s curiosity and spark conversations.
  • Spread the word and talk about ending single use plastic with those who are providing them and those who don’t see a problem with them.

Life Lived Simply has a wonderful write up on reusable straw suppliers as well as a link to print out mini paper cards.

I challenge you to print out these mini paper cards and slip one into the bill folder when paying so that we create a movement and really get everyone talking and learning about ending plastic straws or providing them on request.

Please comment, encourage and share your stories through the month of Jan as we refuse plastic straws.

Until next time…

waste less • refuse more

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Comments (5)
  1. Colleen 11 months ago

    Great one Colette!

    • Colette Plaska 11 months ago

      Thanks Colleen, you’re my motivation.

  2. Lisa 11 months ago

    Looking forward to this series! I need to get into the habit of telling waitresses NO STRAWS when ordering drinks, so I’ll work on that this month…

  3. Beth Simes 11 months ago

    No straws here and we try not to buy drinks when we’re out too. We have bottles that we carry with us filled with water. This was initially done to stretch our budget (it can cost R100 or more for a family of 5 to get drinks, if you want to avoid soft drinks) but the happy by product is LESS WASTE!

    • Colette Plaska 11 months ago

      Refusing the straw is just the best – awesome going! I’m not great at carrying water bottles but when we out I make sure we ask for a jug of water and none of us order water in bottles. I also try get Mad to ask for something in a can or glass… totally get reducing costs for bigger families. You’re so right we can really reduce waste out by just watching how much we refuse to order.


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