The Last Plastic Straw Movement

The Last Plastic Straw

The Last Plastic Straw is a project of Plastic Pollution Coalition. Did you know that over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States? In only the past twenty years, people have come to expect plastic straws in every drink, in an example of extreme waste being generated for minimal convenience. These short-lived tools are usually dropped into a garbage can with no further thought, instantly becoming a source of plastic pollution. 

The Last Plastic Straw and Plastic Pollution Coalition are building momentum around a worldwide movement, so plastic straws become a relic of the past. In the short term, we work with our Coalition to encourage eateries to no longer automatically give plastic straws; we educate individuals to refuse plastic straws and spread the “straw free” message; and we work to change local regulation to stop this unnecessary plastic pollution.

In the long run, this collective engagement around the gateway issue of plastic straws will meaningfully shift the way individuals and businesses think about plastic pollution – and about our society’s disposable culture on a larger scale.

Take Action

Level 1: Make a personal commitment to say “no” to plastic straws. Whenever ordering a drink, politely request “no straw, please.” Encourage your friends and family to take the pledge, too!

You’ve got more power than you think. Want to take your impact even further? Use your own paper, glass, bamboo, or stainless steel straw instead, and start a conversation.

Level 2: Reach out to some local eateries in your neighborhood or town and ask them to change their protocol to only serve straws upon request. Simply leave these informational cards with your bill!

Level 3: Encourage those eateries to make a change to non-plastic straw options – like paper, glass, or stainless steel – if diners do request a straw. We have a business-specific pledge for them to sign, too! Print these table tents for eateries to explain the straws upon request protocol.

Level 4: Host a screening of STRAWS the film in your community to start a wave of change.


30 Alternatives to Plastic Straws

Plastic straws are designed to only be used one time for a convenient few minutes and then discarded to pollute our planet for centuries to come. And while there are certainly some individuals who do need a plastic straw, the vast majority of the world’s population does not.

If you are totally on board with eliminating single-use plastic straws, but you still need or prefer to enjoy your beverages with a straw. Check out our list of plastic straw alternatives »

Featured Blog Posts

How To Be a Last Plastic Straw Agent for Change

The Problem of Plastic Straws (And How Each of Us Can Make a Difference)

The Sea Turtle Who Became the Anti-Plastic Straw Poster Child

Teachers: Diving Into Plastic Pollution
Watch Short Films & Sign Up for Online Classroom Discussions

Join us in helping to empower students to make strides in understanding the problem of single-use plastic and reducing its use!

We have compiled several short films that students can watch to learn about plastic pollution, and afterwards join us for an online discussion about what they can do to address single-use plastic pollution right now. We’ve got expertise, enthusiasm and resources to share to help your students create projects of their own.  

Jackie Nuñez, Founder & Program Manager, The Last Plastic Straw, and featured in the short documentary STRAWS, will be hosting the online discussions, along with other Plastic Pollution Coalition staff.

The goal of each online discussion is to help students craft individual or group projects to reduce single-use plastic pollution. These ACTION projects can be individual, in their home, in their community, anywhere that makes sense for you and your students right now.

Learn more & Sign UP

Watch Straws Film

We’re thrilled to announce the release of STRAWS on Vimeo for home viewing! Make some popcorn, gather your family & friends and share one of the five documentaries to make you rethink single-use plastic. Featuring Plastic Pollution Coalition, the film is both an educational resource and a call to action.(Please Note: Public Screenings & School use need licenses from The Video Project)

Watch the Viral Sea Turtle Video

Thank you to Christine Figgener and Dr. Nathan J. Robinson for their important work and for making the original video to bring this important story to the world.

This video shows why plastic pollution is detrimental to marine life and why single-use plastics, such as drinking straws, are one of the most useless items made out of plastic, and destructive if they end up in our oceans.


To Stop Plastic Pollution