Finding A Pearl In Plastic Straw Debate

Pearl at Longshore has joined the movement to lessen the use of plastic straws.

The popular waterfront restaurant has gone a step beyond changing its practice, too. The other day Andrew Colabella — the RTM member who is introducing a townwide plastic straw ordinance — talked to the staff about the importance of the effort.

He described the negative effects of plastic on the human body, land and — particularly appropriately for Pearl’s location — water.

Andrew Colabella addresses the Pearl staff at everyone’s favorite spot: the patio.

“Pearl has always been committed to community and the environment,” the restaurant says.

Straws will no longer be offered with beverages unless asked for. All straws, stirrers and cocktail picks have been replaced with similar items in bamboo and paper.

Pearl understands that people suffering from Parkinson’s and other neurological and muscular disorders need plastic straws. They will still be available for those diners.

Restaurant owners hope that after Colabella’s presentation, their front-line employees — servers and bartenders — can raise awareness, answer questions and alleviate concerns of customers.

No more plastic straws at Pearl.

14 responses to “Finding A Pearl In Plastic Straw Debate

  1. Sal Liccione

    Good job Andrew and pearl working to help westport better

  2. Would like to know about the negative effects of plastic on people.

  3. The straw thing is a well-meaning, but misguided effort. The US actually accounts for < 2% f plastics pollution in the oceans.

  4. Dave Feliciano

    So is sipping a beverage from straw a poorly washed glass in a bar, better than wrapping your lips around same glass with lipstick stains still on it, by us or our children. Inquiring minds want to know?
    Adult beverages not withstanding?

  5. Joyce Barnhart

    Until this winter, I never used a straw. Then there was such hullabaloo about the flu that I began noticing how many servers grasped drink glasses at the rim, transferring any germs on their hands to the place a diner’s mouth would touch the glass. Now I watch and unfortunately, almost all the time the glass is handled wrong, meaning a straw is necessary. If restaurants are serious about reducing the plastic use, one step is to make sure their servers are serving correctly.

  6. Rose Jordan

    Why doesn’t everyone just bring their own personal reusable straw!

  7. I’ve never used straws, and have put them aside when being served drinks with them. But, as they were opened, they’ve been thrown out with the trash. Now I say “No straw, please.” That should be simple enough fr anyone to say.

  8. Don L. Bergmann

    I support what Andrew Colabella is seeking and even more support the work he is putting in. His efforts deserve our respect and acknowledgement. As to the outcome, that will be decided by the democratic process.
    Don Bergmann

  9. Jessica Stauder

    I patronized Pearl on Friday night and Terrain on Saturday night. I was so pleased in both cases to be served a paper straw. On Saturday I was with my elementary school aged children, and they were overjoyed to see the change. Regardless of whether it makes a noticeable dent in the huge issue of single use plastic waste, it is a small step that made us proud that 2 of our restaurants care enough to try something at least.

  10. In my view the issue is littering. The straw nonsense is a sideshow that people like to latch onto as it is the flavor of the day. Here’s the solution: enforce littering laws…make the price too high. Straws! What about the other 99.999 percent of the garbage that is mishandled.

    • It’s not just littering. Plastic straws are non-biodegradable and wind up in landfills (or the ocean) for thousands of years. Paper straws will disintegrate rapidly. I feel the same way about plastic containers. But I recycle them as often as possible. What did we use before plastic?