Straw no more in war on waste

TWO North Ryde women running their own war on waste have prompted a hotel to ditch plastic straws — and they expect more to follow.

Corina Seeto and Joanne Taranto have encouraged the Governor Hotel at Macquarie Park to replace plastic straws with paper ones for environmental reasons.

The pair have inspired similar action through their 5 For Ryde project, which encouraged cafes to give discounts to customers who brought cups. “We’re not saying there’s no place for straws, but we’d like to see the volume decrease,” Mrs Taranto said. “We find hundreds in waterways, parks and gutters. They are light and because of their shape, they really are a huge problem for marine life.”

Management at the Governor Hotel agreed. Drinks are served without straws, and paper ones are available by request. Only a small number of customers have “pushed back” against the move, according to management. These were mostly women used to drinking from straws to avoid losing lipstick.

General Manager Greg Barclay said “On the whole, customers get why we are doing this. We want to do well by doing good and our customers see this as a positive step.” Both parties were mindful that some people with disabilities require straws. “This is not about penalising people,” Mrs Taranto said. “It’s to remove the straws which are often given to us without any say.”

Mrs Seeto and Mrs Taranto will also approach cafes and restaurants as part of the campaign. ABC TV’s War On Waste series recently recruited the pair to appear in its online videos.

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