A non-profit group is campaigning to get businesses in the west coast tourist town of Tofino to stop using plastic straws, reports Canadian Press (CP). The Pacific Rim chapter of Surfrider Foundation convinced 22 out of 30 local businesses to either not provide straws at all, or substitute biodegradable alternatives made of corn starch, bamboo or paper.
Tofino is a place of great beauty. The Pacific Rim chapter clean-up on its South Chesterman beach in March 2015, collected 88 per cent plastic marine debris. Whilst the Vancouver Island Chapter yielded almost 1,000 kilograms of debris from a clean up on Vargas Island in 2014. Straws are one of the top ten items picked up in beach clearing activities around the world, said the foundation to CP.
20 million tonnes of plastic enter seas annually
It adds that some 20 million tonnes of plastic gets into the ocean annually and breaks up into tiny pieces. These are often ingested by creatures of the sea and air to their detriment.
People in the west coast province of British Columbia are considered to be more environmentally conscious than most Canadians.
The Tofino Chamber of Commerce is helping campaigners by purchasing alternatives to plastic straws and making them available to businesses.
Once people finish their campaign to limit the use of straws, they will move on to plastic bags, water bottles and coffee cups.