The anti-straw movement has a new champion.
Danny Meyer’s popular eateries under the Union Square Hospitality Group are ditching plastic straws for environmentally-friendly ones, the restaurateur announced Tuesday via Twitter.
His Union Square Café posted that it is phasing out plastic straws for paper ones, noting “8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean every year.”
“The team here is excited to help take a small step towards protecting our environment by replacing them with a biodegradable alternative!” the cafe said in the tweet.
“One small step,” Meyer added while retweeting that message. “Planning to roll out biodegradable straws for all @USHGNYC restaurants in next weeks.” Among those restaurants are the barbecue joint Blue Smoke, the Roman pizzeria Marta and the fine dining establishment Gramercy Tavern.
The Oceanic Global Foundation has also been working with bars and restaurants to eliminate plastic straws through its Oceanic Standard guide.
“We’re thrilled to hear that awareness of our environmental impact is driving businesses to implement sustainable practices — and that Danny Meyer is taking a leadership role in driving widespread change,” said Lea D’Auriol, who founded the nonprofit group. “It is our hope that other businesses will follow his example and take action towards eliminating their use of plastics for the health of our planet and our population as well.”
An increasing number of restaurants in the city and across the nation are exploring the use of paper and biodegradable straws instead of plastic.
The Wildlife Conservation Society has stopped using plastic straws at the Bronx Zoo and in all its parks. It plans to swap out biodegradable utensils and straws for single-use plastics.
The nonprofit launched a new “Give a Sip” campaign that asks New Yorkers to take a pledge to stop using plastic straws.
WCS officials said more than 60 eateries and other organizations have promised to phase out the use of plastic straws.
Correction: Meyer’s announcement did not refer to Shake Shack. The burger chain, founded under the Union Square Hospitality Group umbrella, went public as a separate company in 2015.