Would bringing back plastic straws ruin local beaches?

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson
Published: Updated:

Water, sand and sun — what’s missing? Plastic straws littering the beach. But will a push to bring plastic back ruin paradise?

Saving our environment is important to Rachell Kaltak who’s son, Arlin, does not need a straw to enjoy his saccharine snow-cone on their family vacation.

Arlin Kaltak enjoys his snow cone straw-less at a beachfront restaurant. (WINK News photo)
Arlin Kaltak enjoys his snow cone straw-less at a beachfront restaurant. (WINK News photo)

Kaltak and others do like Janet Roth said the plastic straw ban on Fort Myers Beach is helping these shorelines stay clean.

“They should be able to ban plastic straws,” Roth said. “I mean wouldn’t everyone want the environment to be better?”

Not everyone it seems. A new bill is pushing to bring plastic straws back and stop local governments from being able to ban them.

Lisa Vera, who works at Plakas on Fort Myers Beach, said the paper straws the restaurant has to use instead are causing complaints.

“The mixed drinks, the alcohol drinks,” Vera said. “It gives them a different taste.”

And it is a drain on expenses.

“They are more expensive,” Vera said. “I don’t think they make much of a difference.”

Since the straw ban has been in place, program coordinator for “Keep Lee County Beautiful” Mike Thomas, said volunteers are still picking up lots of other trash from local beaches.

“Still getting a lot of the plastic cups, plastic lids,” Thomas said. “A lot of times we find the paper straw. It’s inside the plastic cup and the plastic lid.”

But to some, plastic straws are just one less item we do not need littering our beaches.

“It’s good for the environment,” Roth said. “They should ban more plastic.”

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