Harken Derm

Just Say No To Plastic Straws

Published on July 4th, 2018

With over 500 million plastic straws being discarded every day globally and each straw taking up to 450 years to start to degrade, the team at Abell Point Marina felt like it was time to take environmental action.

Located in the Whitsundays at the doorstep to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia, and with 27 marina businesses and over 53 commercial tourism operators calling the marina home, the next step was to spread the message and encourage participation in the campaign.

In an overwhelming response, all five marina food venues have joined The Last Straw campaign and are committed to becoming plastic straw free. Abell Point Marina is now the first marina in Australia to have all its venues plastic straw free.

Reusable stainless straws

The businesses will no longer provide plastic straws in beverages and only provide paper straws on request. One restaurant went one step further and is selling reusable stainless straws to customers. Says Kat Harrison, owner, of the initiative, “the response has been overwhelming particularly from our regulars, we have had to purchase new straws already to keep up with the demand.”

Nicole Nash, marine biologist and founder of The Last Straw Great Barrier Reef explains, “With over 80% of marine debris entering the ocean from a land-based source, it is essential that both land and sea venues curb their plastic consumption. This is a massive achievement to all staff and businesses involved and will only inspire more venues to join the current 225 venues who have pledged to never use plastic straws again. ”

Encouragingly many of the marina’s tourism operators have also committed to the campaign.
With over 120 vessels in their combined fleets, these operators educate thousands of visitors every year on the importance on conserving our marine environment.

Kate Purdie, Abell Point’s General Manager explains, “The businesses within our marina share the beautiful Whitsunday beaches and marine life with hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. We see protecting these natural assets as our responsibility, so we are committed to marine conservation.

“By eliminating plastic straws from our food outlets, we have eliminated 70,000 straws per annum from being discarded. The marina is already plastic bag free and our participation in The Last Straw campaign is a great next step in our environmental strategy. We hope to lead the way for other marinas to follow suit and encourage all their venues to become plastic straw free.”

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