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Tallahassee Businesses Moving to Biodegradable Straws

Tallahassee city commissioners are hoping the city will become "more conscious than ever before" in protecting the environment, starting with plastic straws.

The issue came up at the Wednesday’s commission meeting. During the sharing of ideas portion, Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox said she hopes the city will “clean up our act” on plastic straws. WCTV spoke with local businesses around Tallahassee about their use, or phasing out, of plastic straws. Tallahassee is the state capital of Florida.

Alternative options include paper straws, plant-based straws, biodegradable plastic straws, or reusable metal straws.

“For years, we’ve been really concerned about the straw issue, especially because my customers kept saying, when are you going to get rid of this stuff?” said Hopkins’ Eatery owner Jennifer Poskey.

She searched for the right fit, first trying paper straws, before switching to biodegradable plastic straws that decompose within five years. Poskey has expanded her focus to include other items in her restaurant.

“We said well let’s take this thing one step further, so we found fiber plates and fiber boxes, and the cups will be next,” said Poskey. “I believe it really does make a difference, and why not try.”

Red Eye Coffee is also on a mission to be environmentally conscious.

“We have compostable straws, they’re made from corn,” said manager Immanuel Dye. “We’re looking into purchasing metal straws for sale for our customers just to encourage more environmentally friendly practices.”

The coffee shop also encourages customers to bring in their own cups, and uses mugs or glasses for drinks in-house.

“I think it’s up to consumers and the everyday person to do what they can,” said Dye.

Commissioner Williams-Cox hopes Tallahassee could implement a phased approach, first distributing plastic straws only on request, and considering using alternative materials for straws. She said it is important to think about where straws go when we are finished using them. City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow agreed with her during the commission meeting.

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This article was published on www.wctv.tv