500 Million Plastic Straws are Discarded Every Day in the United States

Plastic straws are among the most common items found at Portland Chapter Surfrider cleanups – both on the Oregon coast and in Portland! They are not biodegradable, which means that every plastic straw created is still around in some form. Plastic has a huge impact on our ecosystems, wildlife and people, and it’s our chapter’s goal to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the environment.

In August 2017, the Portland Chapter launched the DitchTheStrawPDX program in the Portland-Metro area. The mission of the program is to assist businesses in reducing the number of plastic straws used by their customers. We provide support to these businesses who agree to go straw free for an entire month as a pilot program demonstrating that paper straws are a sustainable, cost-effective alternative.

Are You a Business Interested in Participating?
Click Here & Help Be Part of the Solution

Our Ask

Join our movement to reduce plastic straw pollution by piloting a straw-on-request program for one month. Eliminate plastic straws by only providing paper straws upon request.

What We Do

The Portland Chapter provides:

  1. 600 Portland Surfrider-branded Aardvark* paper straws (*Access to continual discount code available after pilot is completed)
  2. Social media promotion of your business
  3. Staff educational & informative presentation
  4. Promotional materials: graphics for bill inserts and/or table tents, and DitchTheStraw buttons for staff
  5. Coordination and support with managers and staff as needed to support the pilot

Businesses only offering straws on request have reduced straw consumption by 40%, leading to cost savings and reducing their environmental impact!

Current Participating Businesses

Widmer Brothers Brewing: August 2017
Thanks to the hard work by managers and staff, Widmer saved over 1,880 plastic straws – congratulations Widmer! We’re thrilled to share that the restaurant has decided to stop serving plastic straws permanently!

Spirit of 77: November 2017

Spirit of 77 kicked off a successful launch party by hosting a film screening of Island Earth. They are now helping spread the word about #DitchTheStrawOR across town!

Are you an individual that wants to participate?

Next time you’re out, simply ask for no straw, post a photo and tag us (@SurfriderPortland) and #DitchTheStrawPDX on social media! We need your help to spread the word and the message.

Interested in supporting this program as a volunteer?
Contact volunteercoordinator@portland.surfrider.org