If you've ever volunteered for one of the Jersey Shore beach sweeps, you know that plastic straws are one of the most frequently found items.  Clean Ocean Action reports that more than 8000 straws were collected in a recent spring beach cleaning effort.  The plastic is not just an eyesore, it actually damages our environment and puts marine wildlife at risk.  Did you see that video of the sea turtle with the straw up its nose?

Would you believe that here in the U.S. we use 500 million straws each day? There's a "Strawless in Seattle" campaign going on and other municipalities are following suit.  How would you feel if Ocean and Monmouth County restaurants stopped putting straws in beverages?

Some places are banning plastic straws altogether.  Others are offering straws made of different materials, like paper.  Hoping to help at least reduce the number of plastic straws that are used, some are only giving straws to customers who request them.

When I heard about the reasons for the various bans, I assessed my own usage.  I realize I always sip from a straw when I'm having fast-food.  And when I'm at a diner or a restaurant where they put wrapped straws on the table, I usually grab one, but not always.  I think what that means is that I'd be fine if a ban went into effect here.  It seems I use plastic straws when they're provided, but if they're not given, then I just won't need to use one.

How do you think you would handle it if we were to outlaw plastic straws?  Would you miss straws?  Could you get used to straws made of paper or metal?  Do you think Jersey Shore restaurants should start asking people if they want straws?  Chime in in the Comments section.

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