The Last (Plastic) Straw

The Last (Plastic) Straw

You might have recently heard the news: we’re drawing the last straw – the last plastic straw that is!

Starting August 2018, Eataly stores across the USA will be replacing all plastic straws with paper ones in an effort to reduce waste – one drink at a time. The new zero waste initiative will eliminate approximately 18,000 plastic straws used per week, and around 1,000,000 plastic straws used each year.

“Since our founding, we have always worked alongside our producers, defending local food traditions, preserving food biodiversity, and promoting quality artisanal products. Like our producer partners, we know that high-quality ingredients cannot exist without a healthy, clean environment,” said Nicola Farinetti, Eataly USA’s CEO.

We’ll cheers (and sip) to that!


Disposable plastic straws can’t be recycled. Instead, they end up in landfills and our waters where they pose a deadly threat to marine wildlife.

To put this in perspective, here are a few interesting facts about the negative effects of plastic straws:

In the United States alone, approximately 500 million plastic straws are used and thrown away each day. This is enough straws to wrap around planet earth two and half times! 

According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, recent studies have found that around 71% of seabirds and 30% of turtles were found with plastic in their stomachs. When an animal ingests plastic, it can be fatal.

By 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish, by weight.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently found that plastic straws are one of the top 5 most common items found on shores during Coastal Cleanups.

beach italy 2


Here’s what you can do to eliminate and reduce plastic straw use:

1. Use paper straws instead of plastic ones. 

The good thing about paper straws is that they can either be recycled or composted, depending on the material they are made of. At Eataly, we use Aardvark paper straws, which are both compostable and marine degradable.

2. Skip the straw – enjoy your drink the classy (and tastier) way!

The next time you order a drink, ask your barista and bartender to forgo the straw. Instead, enjoy your beverage by sipping straight from the glass. The benefit of sipping from a glass is that you’ll actually get more flavor since the beverage coasts your entire mouth and not just where the straw brings the liquid to. Did we mention it looks more sophisticated?

3. Invest in a reusable straw – and use it again and again and again.

Sometimes you just need a straw. We get it. That's where a reusable metal straw can come in handy. Not only do they look chic but they are also so compact that they can be carried just about anywhere. Keep one in your bag at all times and you’ll never need to sip from a plastic straw again.

cappuccino coffee

manzo cocktail drink (2)

Looking for more ways to join Eataly's Zero Waste Journey? We're happy to have you! Check out our guide to on How to Eat Sustainably.