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'No straws St. Pete' campaign picking up steam

The 'No straws St. Pete campaign' is growing in popularity ahead of the next city council committee meeting about banning the plastic tubes.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The 'No straws St. Pete' campaign already has more than 100 businesses voluntarily limiting their straw usage.

The next step in the straw saga is a St. Petersburg city council committee meeting Thursday, June 14th at City Hall. The meeting is 11:30 a.m. and open to the public. The committee will hear from various speakers about the impact of straws on the city.

Pete Boland owns The Galley A Saint Pete Tavern. He decided to implement a "request only" policy for straws starting on Earth Day. He also swapped plastic straws for paper straws.

"We've moved away from plastic straws. We still have them on site if someone is requesting them, but we also have paper straws as well and we're just kind of looking for other alternatives that fit with us economically but are also eco-friendly," explained Boland.

Boland will be speaking at the St. Petersburg committee meeting on June 14th. He thinks an awareness campaign is the way to go when it comes to limiting straw usage across the city.

"Sometimes you don't need laws to fix things. Public information campaigns do work. We've definitely lessened our impact."

Councilwoman Gina Driscoll has been backing the campaign from the start. Driscoll is open to the idea of a law banning straws in St. Pete.

"This Thursday, we'll be talking a little more about ordinances and whether we can come up with one that would be good for our community."

The 'No straws St. Pete' campaign has spread to other parts of Pinellas County. Both Gulfport and Clearwater Beach are considering awareness campaigns limiting straw usage as well.

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