SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Students at Adams Elementary School is Santa Barbara are on the front line of the "Skip the Straw" movement now being encouraged citywide.
They are part of the Ocean Guardians group and on board with the Community Environmental Council (CEC) and Channelkeeper.
Musician Chris Pelonis says, " I think it is a movement and it important." While eating at the Mesa Cafe with a straw free glass of water in front of him he said on tour, "Jeff Bridges and the Abiders, we don't allow for plastic anywhere." He says alternative water bottles are also used for the band and crew.
Pelonis checked out a metal reusable straw from the CEC and said when it comes to plastic, "no one is going to stop using it as long as long as it is available, so pushing for alternatives. This is a total alternative right?" He also said, a straw in his glass, for him, is in the way. He doesn't use them, and many people don't. They leave them on the table, and from there they go into the trash.
The CEC says even away from the coast, straws that get into storm drains end up in the ocean. Or birds take fast food cups from trash cans and the straw gets free turning into liter or it gets blow into the water. They are picked up in big numbers during beach clean up days.
To get the word out, Kathi King with the Community Environmental Council says,
"we worked with Channelkeeper for a few months to create these outreach materials with the logo so we had some structure to it."
Some of the students spoke to the Santa Barbara City Council this week about the program, the pollution, the waste and the videos they have seen about the problem.
The also visited restaurants.
"And when that comes from kids who say help us save the marine environment and help us use less fossil based products it's hard to say no," said King.
Stores like Plum Goods on State Street in downtown Santa Barbara will be selling the reusable straws soon. It already has other similar items such as utensils, bags and containers that can be reused.
Environmentalists say it is often overlooked how the straws by the millions can be a wasteful item daily.
Regionally the anti-straw movement at restaurants is also getting support in San Luis Obispo and Malibu.
(More information and video will be added here later today)