Plastic straws suck

Nora, Daan and Peter Brils of Jungle Juice are reducing plastic waste by offering their customers reusable bamboo straws, glass bottles and coconut shell bowls.

Nora, Daan and Peter Brils of Jungle Juice are reducing plastic waste by offering their customers reusable bamboo straws, glass bottles and coconut shell bowls.

The average plastic drinking straw is used for just 20 minutes before it’s thrown away. Straws are one of the most commonly found pieces of plastic pollution in our oceans and contribute to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of marine animals each year.

As owners of Mullumbimby Farmers Market’s fresh juice and smoothie business, Jungle Juice, Peter and Nora Brils can hand out hundreds of straws a day, but their concern about plastic waste and their love of the ocean (they are both keen divers) convinced them it was time to do things differently.

They recently introduced a new ethically sourced, reusable bamboo straw that they offer to customers for $2. It can be used over and over again and unlike plastic, will biodegrade once it is discarded.

The bamboo straws are just one of the ways Peter and Nora are fighting plastic waste at their Jungle Juice stall: Other measures include encouraging customers to bring their own cup or bottle, using biodegradable cups and paper straws, selling smoothie bowls in reusable coconut shells, and offering discounts for customers who buy a glass bottle and bring it back for a juice or smoothie refill.

Their story one example of the efforts being made by Mullumbimby Farmers Market and its stallholders to reduce waste and eliminate plastic during the Plastic Free July campaign and beyond.

The market and its stallholders already have many initiatives in place to reduce plastic-use and general waste, including reusable coffee mugs at all coffee stalls and a cup wash station, stainless steel bowls for weighing produce, reusable or biodegradable crockery and cutlery, biodegradable cellophane bags for sprouts, reusable hessian shopping bags available for shoppers, and refills on products like macadamia oil and olive oil for customers who bring their own bottle.

During Plastic Free July, the market will be stepping up its efforts to eliminate single use plastic and is asking shoppers to join with it by bringing their own shopping and produce bags, bottles and jars for refills, and by refusing single-use plastic items.

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