SEDONA, ARIZ. — The Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau has joined forces with the City of Sedona, Sedona Compost, Keep Sedona Beautiful and the Sustainability Alliance to launch Straw Free Sedona, a campaign that encourages local businesses and their patrons to cease use of plastic straws.
Research indicates that many of the 500 million plastic straws used each day in the U.S. end up in the oceans, where they pollute the water and kill marine life. To help reduce these devastating effects, Straw Free Sedona invites businesses to pledge that they will refuse to provide single-use plastic straws and instead offer paper straws only upon customer request.
Straw Free Sedona is a response to alarming statistics about the amount of plastic that makes its way into the oceans after being left on beaches, littered, or blown out of trash receptacles or transport vehicles. Without a drastic reduction in plastic usage, experts fear that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. According to marine and environmental researchers, an estimated 71 percent of seabirds and 30 percent of turtles have been found with plastics in their stomachs. Tragically, marine animals that ingest plastic have an average mortality rate of 50 percent. Plastic straws are among the top 10 items found during coastal clean-up efforts — and in most cases, their usage is not necessary. Therefore, initiatives like Straw Free Sedona are targeting plastic straws as a high-priority item to eliminate.
“As the public becomes increasingly informed about the detrimental effects that single-use plastics have on the environment, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and other organizers of Straw Free Sedona are proud to be acting for a more sustainable future,” said Jennifer Wesselhoff, President and CEO of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau. “This is just the first step to making Sedona the most sustainable destination in the USA.”
"This campaign is a great step towards Sedona becoming a leader of environmental responsibility and it demonstrates the willingness of our local business owners to prioritize sustainability,” added Kathleen Ventura, Co-Owner/Founder of Sedona Compost.
Straw Free Sedona recognizes that some people — such as children or anyone who has suffered a stroke or lives with a debilitating physical condition — may require straws with their beverages. The program does not seek to deny straws to customers in these situations; rather, businesses that take the Straw Free Sedona pledge are advised to provide (upon request) paper straws, which offer a more environmentally friendly alternative. Compostable plastic straws are not recommended because there is no industrial compost facility near Sedona to properly break them down once disposed.
Learn more and to view all participating businesses visit StrawFreeSedona.com.