Skip the Straw

Skip the Straw is an initiative sponsored by the Orange County Board of Commissioners to create awareness of Skip the Straw logothe impacts single-use plastics have on the environment. The initiative encourages individuals and restaurants to pledge to reduce the number of straws that wind up in landfills, storm drains, local waterways and eventually the ocean.

The Problem

Hundreds of millions of tons of plastic are produced each year, most of which cannot be recycled. Petroleum-based plastic is not recyclable and usually goes into a landfill, where it is buried or ends up in stormwater, lakes and eventually the oceans. Plastic does not biodegrade and instead breaks down into tiny particles, releasing toxic chemicals that make their way into the food and water supply.

Straws are too small to be recycled and often end up as litter. To make matters worse, hundreds of millions plastic straws are used every day in the United States alone!

We encourage residents and business owners to Take Action and Sign the Pledge (links on righthand column) to eliminate single-use plastic straws from Orange County.

Take Action

  • Sign the Pledge and say “no” to plastic straws. When ordering drinks in the future politely request “no straw” when the server, bartender or barista takes your drink order. Encourage your dining company to go straw free with you!
  • Support local businesses who have agreed to either eliminate single-use straws or offer compostable straws by request only. Please inform these establishments that their environmental commitment is important to you.
  • Don't stop with straws. When grocery shopping, bring your own re-usable bags or use paper bags that can be recycled. If you eat at a restaurant with a self-service drink bar, bring your own re-usable cup and use it instead of a plastic or styrofoam cup provided by the restaurant.
  • For businesses, eliminating straw use from your establishment saves, on average, 60 pounds of plastic from entering our landfill and waterways! Businesses that Skip the Straw who serve 300 drinks per day can save $725 a year. Skipping the Straw is good for the environment and your establishments bottom line. 
  • Spread the word! Taking the Pledge is worth bragging about. Use the hashtag #SkiptheStrawOCNC and share this page.

Participating Businesses
411 West
Carolina Coffee Shop
Carrboro Pizza Oven
Franklin Hotel
Spotted Dog
Purple Bowl
Tyler's Tap RoomOpen Eye CafeCarrburritos Taqueria
Govinda's Catering, LLC
The Weathervane
Hillsborough BBQ
Caffe DriadeVita DolceMediterranean Deli
Hops Burger BarBuns RestaurantThe Root Cellar