Many American restaurants are banning plastic straws, including in Wichita

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Austin Dugan, owner of 86 Cold Press, has spent the last two years making cold-press juices for the people of Wichita. From the day he opened his doors he knew he wanted to do things differently.

“We’ve never had plastic straws,” Dugan said.

86 Cold Press is one of few Wichita businesses that doesn’t use plastic straws.

“You use it once and it just gets thrown in the trash. Every drink that you order gets a new straw and it’s so much waste,” Dugan said.

Instead Dugan gives paper or stainless-steel straws to customers that ask for them.

He said they also bottle their drinks in glass, rather than plastic. This way they can reuse the bottles when customers bring them back.

“Even if you do use plastic, there are so many recycle programs out there that you can use as well. Recycling it rather than throwing it away can make a huge difference,” Dugan said.

According to For A Strawless Ocean, Americans use over 500 million plastic straws each day. A lot of that plastic ends up in the world's oceans, contaminating marine life. That’s why many places are choosing to ditch the plastic.

Starbucks recently announced that it's banning plastic straws from all of its 28,000 stores by 2020. Now customers can use lids that look similar to sippy cups to drink from instead of using plastic straws.

Dugan hopes other Wichita restaurants and businesses will follow their lead by going plastic free.

“There are so many alternatives out there today. You’ve got bamboo straws, paper straws. Paper straws are just as cost effective if you find the right sources,” Dugan said.

On Sunday, Seattle banned all plastic straws and plastic cutlery. Businesses can instead use straws and utensils made from more environmentally friendly materials such as paper, steel and bamboo.

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