Yep, we’re banging on about reducing our plastic footprint again. This time we’re talking about single-use plastic straws. We’ve heard all of the reasons…”How am I supposed to drink my take-away drink without a straw?”, “A straw stops me from smudging my lipstick”, “Bubble tea doesn’t taste so good when I don’t drink it through a straw”, “I’ve got no idea where that can of soda has been…I don’t want to put my mouth on it.” All very valid points, but to be honest, they’re just cop outs.
“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen”.
These are the wise words of John Wooden, an American basketball coach. The thing is, if we keep on making excuses for our behaviour, we’ll never change and never progress. Using a single-use plastic straw may seem insignificant, but did you know that in the US, folk use 500 million straws each day – that’s enough to circle the earth 2.5 times!
It’s true that plastic straws only constitute 0.2% of all plastic waste in our oceans, but just like praising one of our kids for a small change in behaviour, if we can make this small change by refusing plastic straws, we’ll build awareness and start to shift our mindset about all single-use plastics. Next stop, shopping bags, disposable water bottles and takeaway containers!
Get inspiration from a young environmentalist
Zyn Yee is a 17-year old student at Hwa Chong Institution. In addition to her course work, training for a marathon and a passion for musical theatre, she’s also one of Singapore’s leading advocates for eliminating single-use plastics. She founded the Straw Free Singapore movement after being inspired by her peers and teachers and watching a TED Talk by the young founders of Bye Bye Plastic Bags.
You may have noticed the “Go Straw Free” stickers adorning counter-fronts in shops across Singapore. This is a result of Zyn Yee’s hard work. So awesome. We love that she is starting at the grass roots level, by placing responsibility in the hands of the individual – it’s up to us to opt out of using a straw, or bring our own.
Zyn Yee’s latest initiative has been lobbying Changi Airport to go straw-free. You can help by signing Straw Free Singapore’s petition – it all helps.
So what’s next for this environmental superstar? She says, “Now that I’ve got Changi Airport onboard to reduce the number of straws they use (they are NOT straw free), my next goal is to remove one million straws from Singapore. I also want to organise more green grassroots events and perhaps a youth-centric forum about green issues. I’ll definitely continue getting more companies and F&Bs onboard through my movement.”
A shout out to straw-free outlets across the island
The HoneyKids team has been scouring the streets for businesses who have opted to ditch straws and we’re giving them a big shout out. We’re super excited to let you know where you can go to enjoy a delicious drink (without a side serve of environmental guilt). And we’ll keep adding as the good news from more companies rolls in.
- Baker & Cook
- Brawn & Brains Coffee
- Cafe Melba
- Foreword Coffee
- 4 Fingers Crispy Chicken
- Nylon Coffee Roasters
- Oriole Coffee and Bar
- Plain Vanilla
- The LoKal
- The Matcha Project
- The Providore
- The Social Space
- Wheeler’s Yard
- White Label
- Wild Honey
- Wildlife Reserves Singapore
Got a hot tip about a shop in Singapore that has ditched plastic straws? Please get in touch and let us know. We can do this, people. #thumbsup
Like this story? Here’s more we think you’ll enjoy:
The shocking statistics of plastic waste and what we can do to help in Singapore
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10 ways to teach our kids about the environment
Best eco-friendly diapers in Singapore