by SCOTT EANES, CORAL BAY COMMUNITY COUNCIL
The Coral Bay Community Council and Plastic Free Island: St. John have come together to try to eliminate, or reduce dramatically, the use of single use plastic straws. To do this, members from CBCC shot a publicity video at The Longboard restaurant in Cruz Bay highlighting the issue that straws are not essential when consuming a drink, and because of their use, the Virgin Islands is forced to dispose of thousands of straws every year. Additionally, plastic straws and stirrers are a visible and significant portion of the plastic pollution that litters our roads and beaches.
The video is part of the “No Straw, Please” social media campaign and competition. The competition is for Virgin Island residents to produce your own videos to share showing straws are not needed to drink most drinks. The competition will be announced this week and will ask residents to make a 30-60 second anti-plastic straw video to share. The videos will be compiled by CBCC and Plastic Free Island: St. John and shown publicly at the end of July. A team of judges will choose the winner and runner up, who will receive great prize packages such as 2 night stays at Gallows Point Resort or Concordia Eco-Resort including dining experiences at Skinny Legs, Extra Virgin Bistro, The Triple B, The Westin St. John Resort and Villas, Cruz Bay Landing, and The Thirsty Donkey.
The Longboard in Cruz Bay hosted the shoot. In the process of getting to know the waste reduction, anti-pollution missions of CBCC and Plastic Free Island St. John, The Longboard made major changes to their restaurant inventory.
“The ‘No Straw Campaign’ has brought more awareness to our purchasing choices, prompting us to research options available to use with the environment in mind such as recyclable/compostable alternatives. For little additional costs and a bit of ‘breaking the mold’ of our ways of the past, we can make a smaller footprint on this tiny island,” said Clint Gaskins, owner of The Longboard.
To date on St. John, several restaurants have become completely straw free. In Cruz Bay-Asolare, Barefoot Cowboy, Joe’s Rum Hut, Rhumblines, Waterfront Bistro and Ocean 362, and in Coral Bay- Skinny Legs, Indigo Grill, The Triple B, The Thirsty Donkey, and Concordia Eco-Resort.
Editor’s Note: Ocean 362 at Gallows Point Resort has been added to the list of Cruz Bay restaurants that are now straw free.