Eateries making the switch or asking patrons to make a choice.
There's something new at restaurants and eateries around Longboat Key, but diners might not notice until their drinks arrive.
Paper straws are slowly replacing plastic ones at some spots, and other operators are cutting back on how many straws they use by asking customers if they prefer to go without.
Dry Dock Waterfront Grill made the swap at the beginning of the summer. Blue Dolphin Cafe did it earlier this month.
“People seem to be getting more conscious about the environment,” Blue Dolphin waitress Nejama Gomez said. “Some people even thank us.”
Dry Dock told customers in June they could ask for straw -- and receive a paper one -- as part of a bigger Skip the Straw Make a Difference campaign. Mar Vista has been offering paper straws for a few years.
At the Lazy Lobster, around 200 plastic straws are used a day, General Manager Mike Frazier said. “We’ve talked about banning straws that are not biodegradable,” Frazier said.
Longbeach Café uses plastic straws as does Harry’s Continental Kitchens, which reopened for season on Oct. 11.
Hal Christensen, general manager of Harry’s Continental Kitchens, said they use plastic straws at their restaurant, deli and convenience store.
“I really don’t like paper straws,'' Christensen said. But, Harry’s wait staff does ask customers if they would like a straw with their beverages, he added, cutting down on the overall numbers of straws that end up either in the trash, or possibly on the beach.
In Florida, plastic straws are prohibited in Fort Myers Beach and Miami Beach. And this summer, McDonald’s announced it was eliminating plastic straws at its restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland.