Chippewa Falls business offers pasta straws instead of plastic

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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- A local business is offering customers an edible alternative to plastic straws.

Bye the Willow beer and wine lounge in Chippewa Falls is now stocking pasta straws all in an effort to be more environmentally friendly.

Owner Dawn Bye said, “The pasta straws have no taste to them, they hold up very well in water and for a long length of time and when you throw them away they're biodegradable.”

The beer and wine lounge says the pasta straws are comparable in cost to plastic but with the bonus of being better for the environment.

“To me this seemed like a really good thing for us to do, it's something we can do, it's affordable and it helps the environment,” said Bye.

Eau Claire County says the move is a step in the right direction. Recycling coordinator Meghan Burkett said the amount of straws used in a year, just in the U.S., could fill the Yankee Stadium nine times.

“Straws are a surprisingly large problem for such a small item,” explained Burkett. “They're small enough that they can't be easily recycled so when they go to a recycling facility they don't get processed with everything else because they're so small they just slip through the cracks.”

The county says using compostable, paper or pasta straws are all positive alternative to plastic ones.

“It's exciting to see that companies are realizing this is becoming an really big issue and they're trying to take steps to make it a little bit smaller,” added Burkett.

Bye said she hopes customers are open to using the pasta straws so that the lounge can be just a little more environmentally friendly.

“If there's something little we can do to help make our environment better and not as toxic, not only for ourselves but for Mother Nature, we should take that opportunity. It's kind of a no brainer,” said Bye.

Bye the Willow says it will also no longer immediately put a straw in drinks but will ask the customer whether or not they'd like one.

Eau Claire County says if you're interested in lessening your use of straws it recommends purchasing a reusable metal straw.

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