GRANDVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio -- Local businesses are preparing for the last straw -- the last one made out of plastic, that is, as more and more companies become more environmentally conscious and look to avoid filling landfills with plastic straws. It may however cost them a little more in the short term.
Jonathan Kessler runs Knotty Pine Brewing in Grandview Heights, but he's getting notoriety for what he doesn't serve: plastic straws. He switched to biodegradable straws made out of corn products.
"We were unnecessarily going through a lot of plastics and we just wanted to do our part to be conscientious," he said.
He's also instructed servers to stop automatically putting out straws and will hand them out to guests only upon request. Customer Emily Warburton said she prefers to use a straw, but didn't mind not getting one during a recent visit.
"I definitely would support a business that does stuff like that, because you see all the videos and hear about how straws are harmful tot the environment," she said.
"A little inconvenience here and there is better than dumping plastic in the oceans," Kessler said.
Kessler said it is difficult keeping the straws in stock though. Columbus restuarant supplier Wasserstrom Company said demand is high right now for the biodegradables, made out of corn or paper.
"A paper straw costs between three and ten times more than a plastic straw," said Eric Myers, vice-president of Wasserstrom. "If someone can figure out a way to do that at a cost comparable to plastic straws, I think we'll see a watershed moment."