SAN ANTONIO – In an attempt to help reduce the amount non-biodegradable plastic waste that ends up in landfills and waterways, San Antonio Zoo is spearheading a local awareness crusade entitled “Straws No Mas."
The campaign, set to roll out citywide over the next month, encourages businesses and consumers to reduce the use of single-use plastic straws and other single use plastics.
San Antonio Zoo is leading a “Straws No Mas” campaign with a consortium that includes San Antonio Restaurant Association, San Antonio Hotel and Lodging Association, San Antonio Area Tourism Council and others in the community to promote the proactive removal and/or reduction of plastic straws and single-use plastic whenever possible at area hotels, restaurants, bars, attractions and even households.
The campaign will include social media posts, graphics, public service announcements, and a website where these entities and citizens can take a pledge to be more eco-conscious.
Partners and friends of the zoo have shown great interest in actively working to eliminate straws from their locations, from Alamo Draft House, to the Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott hotel chains and Starbucks.
“We hope that through this pledge campaign we can encourage more sustainable alternatives, or upon request-only procedures for customers who want to use a plastic straw” said Tim Morrow, CEO and executive director of San Antonio Zoo.
Concerned about the damage plastic straws and single-use plastic can cause to wildlife, the zoo has never allowed single use plastic straws and has removed much of the single-use plastic including plastic silverware, plastic coffee spill and stir sticks, plastic lorikeet feeding cups and more.
Guests are given the opportunity to purchase reusable cups, cup toppers, and reusable straws and the zoo offers alternatives to the single-use plastics they have removed.
Zoo staff members even experimented with hollowed out pasta shells to use as drinking straws. In addition, the zoo catering and culinary departments use eco-friendly utensils made from wood products and non-GMO plant-based plastic, and the gift shops use bags made of recycled paper.