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queens straw

Biodegradable straws are among the changes at Queen's Bar and Grill to help reduce waste.

Hub Staff

Downtown Port Elgin restaurant Queen’s Bar & Grill has made environmentally friendly changes over the last few month to help reduce waste. “Straws were easily one of the worst things in the environment,” said owner Pier Donnini.

Since February the eatery has changed to biodegradable straws that are individually wrapped. “We thought it was a really easy way to make a big change,” he said, adding that since making the change staff has noticed that between 30 and 40 percent of patrons choose to not use a straw at all.

“We were giving you a drink with a plastic straw, it was garbage immediately whether you used it or not. So now it shows you that the real way to conserve is to make a difference and use less because they have the option, it’s gone really well,” said Donnini.

Prior to the anti-straw movement of recent months studied showed that 500 million straws were being used each day with many ending up in the trash and water systems.

Compostable take-away containers made with cane sugar and other recyclable items have also been recently implemented at the Queen’s with Donnini admitting that people often gain a false sense of security when they see the recyclable image on some plastic or styrofoam containers. “You toss something in your blue box and you think you're doing something good,” he said.

Many recycling depots, including Bruce Area Solid Waste Recycling at the Saugeen Shores landfill does not currently recycle disposable coffee cups or styrofoam. The Queen’s owner stressed that what the business is doing is just taking a step that he hopes will ignite a conversation.

The Queen’s is looking into way of eliminating paper napkins, which Donnini says is tricky, and that they will soon stop supplying plastic cups.

“Our little experience here is that people really want this stuff and age doesn't matter. It’s been a good experience and we’re working hard to eliminated paper napkins and plastic cups in the future and go old fashioned with the glass,” he said, joking that the number of glasses that get broken is not a lot. “It’s not the wild west,” he said.

bio queens

Compostable take away containers made with sugar cane.

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