January 16, 2019
Hannah Lynn

Last year was a big one for the plastic straw. It became a cause célèbre, subject to environmental campaigns to end its use, due to excessive and preventable pollution caused by the straws. Starbucks, McDonald’s, Hilton, and other companies have announced bans on plastic straws that will gradually be put into place. Looking around coffee shops, there is usually at least one person with a metal straw. Kim Kardashian got into a fight on Instagram over plastic straws.

Straw Forward, a new installation at the Carnegie Science Center’s RiverView Café, will show off sculptures made from straws and other pieces of plastic waste. The project, created by Sustainable Pittsburgh, collected the waste from over two dozen participating restaurants and businesses. The aim of the project is to draw attention to the damage plastic waste does to the environment, but also to encourage restaurants to move toward more sustainable practices.

Ginette Walker Vinski of Sustainable Pittsburgh believes that straws are a good target because of their ubiquity. “With straws, it is just so easy to visualize how much waste is generated almost every time you order a beverage, a disposable plastic straw is plunked into your glass whether you asked for it or not,” says Walker Vinski.

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