CHICAGO — Thursday is World Oceans Day, and the Shedd Aquarium is teaming up with Chicago restaurants to decrease the city’s use of one, specific type of plastic waste that threatens marine animal and plant life: straws.
Americans use an estimated 500 million straws a day, according to a release from the aquarium. Since straws do not biodegrade naturally, discarded ones stay on the planet for years, breaking down into smaller pieces and causing harm to wildlife who may ingest or be entangled in them.
Nineteen Chicago-area restaurants have committed to "Shedd the Straw" Thursday and vowed to stop serving disposable plastic straws with their drinks. This one-day effort is meant to inspire Chicagoans to remove single-use plastic straws from their everyday routine because of the tremendous negative effects they have through pollution of the waterways.
In a press release, the aquarium urged people to “say no to straws provided free of charge in your drink, or take the added step to bring reusable straws to restaurants.”
Restaurants committed to "Shedd the Straw" on World Oceans Day include:
• Cindy’s Rooftop, 12 S. Michigan Ave.
• Chicago Athletic Association, 12 S. Michigan Ave.
• The Berghoff, 12 W. Adams St.
• Eleven City Diner, 1112 S. Wabash Ave.
• Wishbone Restaurant, 1001 W. Washington Blvd.
• Byron’s Hot Dogs, 1017 W. Irving Park Rd.
• Luke’s Lobster, 123 N. LaSalle St.
• Miss Ricky’s, 2013 N. Wabash Ave.
• Big Star, 1531 N. Damen Ave.
• Horse Thief Hollow Brewing Co, 10426 S. Western Ave.
• Uncommon Ground, W. Devon Ave.
• Uncommon Ground, 3800 N. Clark St.
• Shaw's Crab House, 21 E. Hubbard St.
• Shaw's Crab House, 1900 E. Higgins Road, Schaumburg, IL
• Prairie Grass Café, 601 Skokie Boulevard, Northbrook, IL
• One North Kitchen and Bar, 1 N. Upper Wacker Dr.
• Oyster Bah, 1962 N. Halsted St.
• Tokio Pub, 1900 E. Higgins Road, Schaumburg, IL
• Brown Bag Seafood Co., 340 E. Randolph St.
Pollution of the Great Lakes can ultimately lead to pollution of the Atlantic Ocean through a network connecting the Great Lakes to the St. Lawrence River into the Atlantic Ocean. For more information about World Oceans Day check out the Shedd Aquarium's website.
[Courtesy: Shedd Aquarium]