I was happy to hear about the decision by the River Restaurant Group (Angelina’s, Taco Santana, Ziatun, Vegetalien, Beacon Bread) to stop providing straws with beverages (No More Straws, March 30). It’s about time more restaurants did this. It’s an unnecessary and environmentally costly waste. I hope it provides a push for other local businesses.
Maria Elena Hardman, Cold Spring
Go-Go Pops, Go-Go Joe and Veggie Go-Go offer fun, stripey paper straws, and all our disposables are compostable.
However, the challenge with anything that’s biodegradable, compostable, recyclable, made from wood fiber, corn starch or sugar fiber is that it will always be more expensive than plastic. While 10,000 plastic straws might cost about $30, the least expensive wholesale source I can find sells 10,000 paper straws for $448. The cellophane sleeves (made from wood pulp) used for packaging our pops cost us 7 cents each when plastic sleeves would only cost us 1 cent each but are not environmentally sustainable.
For quite some time I’ve been considering how local food-service operators might work together to reduce the cost of sustainable disposables by purchasing on a larger scale. Although I doubt any of us has the room or financial resources to stockpile, I’d be interested in working with other businesses to establish a buying club or cooperative.
Lynn Miller, Cold Spring
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