SUMMERSIDE – Seeing a raft of plastic the size of Texas floating in the ocean incited a couple of Summerside restaurateurs to take action. After that news report, Darcia Burnett and her husband Jordon made the decision to stop using plastic straws and cups in their Lobster House & Oyster Bar.
The news clip that prompted them to act showed a huge amount of plastic cups and straws, said Burnett.
Her first thought was, “We have a part in that and we need to stop.”
The local couple started a search to find ways to affordably change the amount of plastic they go through in a year. They found a replacement for the plastic cups used for events such as weddings, in reusable plastic tumblers and switched to paper based straws made with beeswax.
The couple was concerned the new straws would cost more than the plastic version.
Their solution – “We’re not going to have them in drinks automatically. Rather customers are going ask for a straw if they want one and we would give them the new kind of straw. In the long run we would use less,” noted Burnett.
The seasonal Summerside restaurant used about 2,000 straws and cups during the summer months.
“It seems like a small change … but if we all do something small, it adds up to be a really big thing.”
The change in cups and straws isn’t the first time the owners made environmentally conscious changes.
“We use paper-based take-away containers for takeout and we use biodegradable cleaner,” said Burnett.
The couple has been getting positive feedback from the community after announcing the change on cups and straws on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
“I actually see other restaurants in our community doing the same thing. It’s so encouraging.”
The Brothers 2, also in Summerside, is following the no-more-plastic trend as well.
The restaurant will finish up the stock they have then switch to paper straws, said Lindsey Groom, restaurant manager.
“It’s more environmental friendly and you see a bunch of stuff on Facebook about the garbage piling up.”
Seeing the harm it is doing to sea life, animals and the planet, Groom decided say goodbye to plastic straws.
The restaurant is also only going to be offering straws if customers ask for them.
Groom could not give an exact number of straws the restaurant goes through, but noted, “It would be a ridiculous amount of straws. We used to put them in water, pop, everything.”