The Pier Hotel are leading the way, banning single-use plastic straws from the venue in a bid to be environmentally friendly and reduce plastic waste.
The change, spurred by the single-use plastic bag ban, will see the business remove around 5,000 plastic straws from circulation each month.
The Pier’s Deb Brown said the initiative was first considered just five months before the venue implemented a full ban and was born out a desire to protect the environment.
“We began to get the ball rolling and decided that, given the impact of waste on sea life, we should do something about it,” she said.
“I had discussed the idea with the owners of the business and it was decided that we wouldn’t order any more [straws] and, when they ran out behind the bar, that was it.
“I think that has been the best part – that we’re the biggest venue in town and we’ve done it.
“You can use all sorts of excuses for not doing it but we need to do more and be conscious of waste every single day.”
Ms Brown said most customers had been supportive of the ban, praising the business for having implemented the change so quickly.
Despite some backlash from customers following the ban, Ms Brown said the change had been very positive for the business.
“Since we’ve actually done it, it’s been a really good feeling for all of us,” she said.
“Doing the right thing by the environment feels good.
“In such a big business, there are so many things to think about environmentally and we have to start somewhere.
“Honestly, we have had a little backlash from some customers but when we tell them why we’ve done it they’re usually good about it.
“Many believe it is cleaner to drink from a straw but it is not – the glasses are sterilised and polished and you certainly don’t use a straw at home.
“We’ve lead the charge and hopefully the businesses around town will now pick up on that and evaluate whether they need them [straws], too.”
With many businesses across Australia pledging to ban single-use plastics, Ms Brown urged other venues to consider doing the same.
“To the other beautiful cafes and restaurants and hotels in Esperance; just do it,” she said.
“Nobody is not going to come to your venue because you don’t have a straw.
“We’ve been taking straws out of habit; we’ve used them for such a long time but you walk away without one and it’s no big deal.
“I’ve lived here my whole life and spend a lot of time in the ocean amongst the beautiful sea life and it’s just so, so important.
“As a beautiful beachside community, we should get rid of plastic straws throughout the town.”