St. Louis Park implements new amendment

Straws by request to make city greener

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Molly Schochet

Costumer at SLP Nutrition chooses to use a straw for her drink. SLP Nutrition offers self-service straw dispensers as a way to comply with the city's Zero-Waste Packaging Ordinance.

Molly Schochet

The straw by request amendment was an addition made to the Zero-Waste Packaging Ordinance, according to St. Louis Park solid waste specialist Emily Barker.

“We amended our Zero-Waste Packaging Ordinance. We made some other changes but specifically straws had previously not been included and were not regulated at all,” Barker said. “The change doesn’t require straws to be compostable, but requires that restaurants not give you a straw automatically.”

Co-founder of SLP Nutrition Alex Brose said the new amendment hasn’t had much of an impact on the store.

“We always have our straws available in these dispensers so there isn’t really any different for us because people always grab them themselves,” Brose said.

Although not automatically getting a straw may be a change for some, Barker said she has already been receiving positive feedback.

“It will be a big change for some folks and there will be some folks who are frustrated, but I did talk to one restaurant who said that most customers haven’t even noticed,” Barker said.

According to Brose, he hasn’t seen much of a change in the community, as straws are still available.

“I haven’t heard of any businesses affected and I don’t know what businesses it would affect because straws are still available for people if they ask for them,” Brose said.

Sophomore Gracia Rettig said not using a straw is a small price to pay for helping the earth.

“The transition isn’t that hard, it’s a straw,” Rettig said. “If people are mad about it that’s petty because they have bigger things to worry about and plastic is horrible for our planet so they can get over themselves.”

According to Brose, as long as both the community and business are aware of the change, it should not have a huge impact.

“I think it could be a little annoying for some people but if we’re all on the same page then they might be able to ask for it beforehand,” Brose said.

Rettig said even though it’s small, it’s still an important step toward making St. Louis Park greener.

“It’s really important to cut back on plastics and pollution in our city because even if we’re starting small hopefully it can turn into something large and actually help our planet,” Rettig said.