#RefuseTheStraw: Local restaurant cutting down on use of plastic straws


WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Any time you’re out to dinner and you order a beverage, it’s common to ask for or be offered a straw, but now if you ask that question at King Neptune in Wrightsville Beach, it’ll cost you.

“With all individual states starting to ban plastics and straws, we’re like we need to come up with a better alternative to the straw,” bartender Brandon Wicklund said. “What better way than a reusable straw that can be washed in the dishwasher, brought back to local businesses and things like that?”

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Plastic, single-use straws are still available at King Neptune for 50 cents and you can buy a stainless steel, reusable straw for $2.50.

It’s part of the #RefuseTheStraw campaign. Wicklund says the restaurant is doing their part to help the environment.

“Sea life, wildlife was all on this planet before we were,” Wicklund said. “To be like, we’re the cause of that? A million straws a day ended up in the ocean. Seven million straws a week times that by 52 weeks in a year. That’s a lot of plastic.”

We spoke with two customers, Mikayla Myott and Jadra Newman, who were in favor of the change and said it would not change their experience at the restaurant very much.

“I don’t even use straws really,” Myott said. “If they give me them at restaurants, then of course I’ll use it but I didn’t even thinking of asking for one. I don’t really care to use them.”

Wicklund says he hopes other businesses in the Cape Fear will consider cutting down on their use of plastic straws as well.

Wicklund says there has been pushback to the change because some people are worried the new options won’t be as sanitary. He says the restaurant used about 5,000 straws a week before the changes.