Lower Bucks County restaurants and bars are taking different tacks amid a national push by environmental campaigners to end the use of plastic straws, with some, like Dog and Bull in Bristol Township’s Croydon section, jumping head first into the drive while others maintain that the move would be too expensive or unnecessary.
“We actually have a bunch of staff members who were very concerned about the environment and progressive change,” said Camillia Al-Rokh, a service manager at the Dog and Bull. “There were plenty of staff members who were hesitant, and didn’t understand how much waste was created. I myself didn’t understand it, but I’m now really passionate about the issue.”
Dog and Bull’s move hasn’t gone unremarked on by customers. Commenters on the restaurant’s Facebook page called the decision “moronic” and “stupid,” but also “amazing” and “great.”
“[We] put out a Facebook post, which had mixed reviews,” Al-Rokh said. “There has been some negative feedback.”
While in most cases drinks at the Dog and Bull are now presented without any straws, “there have been attempts to introduce paper and compostable straws.”
Al-Rokh described the paper straws as something available “on request,” and added that they are purchased online.
When asked how a customer could drink a beverage with a lemon without a straw, she answered: “We try not to do this with water …We do have stirrers available as well … it would be really hard to drink a Bloody Mary without a straw.”
Other restaurants have been more reserved in their actions towards eliminating plastic straws. When asked about the national conversation on plastic straws, Hugo Montoya, the owner of Sports Pizza, located in Falls Township’s Morrisville section, said that “I haven’t heard of it.”
“I never hear because we don’t really use [them]. We only sell cans,” he said.” y store is really small so I don’t have a fountain machine.”
At Non Solo Pasta, also located in Falls Township’s Morrisville section, owner Gennaro Scott said that his restaurant was “getting ready to phase them out.”
“We are a restaurant so the straws are very minimum. I always pay attention to things we can do to try to help the environment. I’ve been working on the decision and by the end of the month we will be working towards paper straws on request only.”
Greenstraw Smoothies in Newtown Township still uses plastic straws in some cases, according to assistant manager Kelly Leipziger.
“It is hard, it is super expensive to use paper or bamboo straws so we understand the trouble of funding it,” she said. “We try to leave straws out.”
However, the restaurant is increasingly using paper straws.
“We are also looking at pasta straws, which are becoming very popular,” Leipziger said.
Leipziger made it clear that the store’s owners were environmentally conscious.
“This has been a passion of theirs to leave less of a carbon footprint. Our goal is to be plastic free by 2020.”