Carroll County Commissioners pledge to go straw-free

Alex Mann
Contact ReporterCarroll County Times

If you’re out this summer and see a Carroll County commissioner, you might notice their drinks are absent plastic drinking straws.

That’s because the Board of County Commissioners has vowed to go straw-free for the summer as part of wider-reaching campaign aiming to reduce plastic pollution — the Strawless Summer Pledge.

“We talked about this before we sent it out,” said Dennis Frazier, R-District 3. His commissioner colleagues have been “very supportive,” he added.

Americans use approximately 500 million plastic drinking straws every day, according to the National Park Service. That’s enough to fill about 125 school buses daily — and 46,000 per year— to the brim with straws, the park service says.

“The campaign is voluntary; however, I encourage everyone to research the environmental impact of plastic straws and hopefully decide they can enjoy their drinks without one,” said Frazier in a news release. “When offered a straw, just say, ‘no thank you.’”

But the onus falls on restaurants, too, Frazier told the Times.

We “encourage restaurants to ask people if they want straws,” Frazier said. “We’re not telling them they need to switch to paper straws.”

The Ocean City chapter of the Surfrider Foundation — a nationwide organization that aims to protect beaches and ocean — started the initiative in May, asking local businesses to reduce straw use, according to The Dispatch.

Frazier, a well-known supporter of environmental initiatives, said he found out about the campaign from his email inbox.

“It’s a great thing for Carroll County,” he said. “A great thing to reduce trash that would probably end up in the ocean.”

Frazier added that he’d like to see the campaign continued beyond summer, suggesting restaurants could save money by reducing the amount of straws they use.

alex.mann@carrollcountytimes.com

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