Surfrider Foundation’s Eastern Long Island Chapter launched its Strawless Summer on May 1, 2018. Since, we have been overwhelmed by the acceptance and success of our initiative. The goal of Strawless Summer is to reduce and ultimately eliminate the amount of plastic straws in Eastern Long Island. We are doing this by educating consumers about the negative effects of plastics on the marine environment, and encouraging restaurants to take the pledge to stop using plastic straws.
These establishments have pledged to do one of these three things:
- Go completely Strawless
- Provide biodegradable (paper, bamboo) straws only upon request OR
- Provide reusable alternatives to plastic (stainless steel)
We are excited to announce that the framework of Strawless Summer is being perpetuated on the county level, to become “Strawless Suffolk.”
Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn, Chairperson of the County’s new “Plastic Reduction Task Force Committee,” is encouraging a voluntary pledge for restaurants to stop their use of plastic straws throughout Suffolk County. A number of individuals from allied organizations and agencies spoke in support of Strawless Summer during the July 2nd Press Conference. These included: Surfrider Foundation, Group for the East End, Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, Peconic Baykeeper, Long Island Soundkeeper, Green Inside and Out, Stony Brook’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Suffolk County Community College, and the Suffolk County Health Department.
A modest goal has been set to pledge 100 restaurants across Suffolk County by Labor Day, Monday September 2nd, 2018.
To date, 34 establishments have pledged- 32 restaurants and 2 schools.
- Left Hand Coffee
- Left Hand Coffee & Bakery
- The Montauk Beach House
- Canal Cafe
- Long Island Aquarium
- Westlake Fish House
- Pierre’s Market
- Dockside Bar & Grill
- Little Creek Oyster Farm & Market
- Oaklands Restaurant and Marina
- Page at 63 Main
- The Surf Lodge
- Mambo Kitchen
- Bell & Anchor
- Little Red
- Sundays On The Bay
- Peconic Cellar Door
- Bay Kitchen Bar
- Rowdy Hall
- Tutto Il Giorno
- Southampton Publick House
- C’est Cheese
- RUMBA Inspired Island Cuisine & Rum Bar
- Topping Rose House
- Good Libations Food Truck
- The Purple Elephant
- Coopers Beach Cafe
- Hampton Bays Middle School
- Hampton Bays High School
This movement relies entirely on boots on the ground volunteers to go out and encourage the restaurants they frequent to make the switch away from plastic straws. Learn more about how to pledge a restaurant with this “Volunteer Resources” Folder.
In one year, our Chapter has picked up 1651 plastic straws from local coastlines. Plastic straws are among the top ten items found at beach cleanups. In the marine environment, plastic does not biodegrade, but photodegrades into smaller pieces called microplastics, that can be ingested by marine life and make their way into our food chain. The good news is that plastic straws are a relatively easy thing to phase out, benefiting the health of our local environment and economy. We hope that by targeting plastic straws, Strawless Summer and Strawless Suffolk alike encourage county residents to rethink other single-use plastics in their daily lives.
Press about Strawless Suffolk:
- News 12 Long Island: “Suffolk effort aims to draw straws out of circulation”
- Port Jefferson Patch: “A Push in Suffolk to Declare Independence from Plastic Straws”
- CBS New York: “Long Island Looks To End Plastic Straw Use”
- WCBS News Radio 880: “Call For Limits On Plastic Straws In Suffolk”
- View full press conference here, courtesy of News 12 Long Island “Suffolk officials announce new strawless campaign”