Local restaurant cutting back on straws used in store, among other 'green' efforts

MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - Plastic straws have been the latest debate across the country. At the start of this week, Starbucks announced its efforts to phase straws out of their stores over the next two years. Wednesday, American Airlines followed suit, saying it plans to no longer offer plastic straws and stir sticks in its lounges and on-board its flights; all in an effort to help the environment.

Here in the Mid-Ohio Valley, The Galley in Marietta says they're trying to do their part to help the environment as well. When they serve drinks, they now only give straws to those with special needs or disabilities. The general manager says if any other customer would like a straw, they are available upon request.

By making this change he says the restaurant is cutting back on multiple hundred straws per day.

"For a little while we've been trying to cut down on our carbon footprint. Before we switched to limiting the usage of straws we actually switched to paper products for to-go [containers]. To-go [paper] bags and instead of Styrofoam containers we use the paper containers.” explains Nate Shahan, the general manager.

He says they have seen mixed feedback on the initiative, with passionate debates stirring on their social media announcement.

“Most people were understanding and most people were very for us switching but a lot of people were holding on.” Says Shahan.

The Starbucks inside the Blennerhassett Hotel says they only know about the movement from seeing the companies Facebook announcement. They say they have not received instructions from corporate but are expecting something in the coming months.

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