The decision comes in the wake of a Hawaii bill that proposed banning the sales and distribution of disposable, plastic drinking straws and punishing violators with a fine and community service. Senate Bill 2285 stalled in committee at the Hawaii State Legislature in February.
“We made the decision to stop the use of single-use plastic straws in our restaurants, exchanging them with paper straws, regardless of the legislation outcome,” said BLT Market general manager Amanda Kullman-Kipp in a news release. “Making the switch was an easy decision for us. We are surrounded by beauty and are connected to the environment and wildlife around us, this initiative is important, and we want to lead the way towards positive changes and a healthier ecosystem.”
Other businesses that have voluntarily switched to paper straws include the Hilton Waikoloa Village on Hawaii island and The Modern Honolulu in Waikiki.
A growing movement to ban plastic straws is spearheaded by environmental groups like Lonely Whale, which launched a #stopsucking campaign, saying they end up in the oceans, harming sea life.