Sarah J. Buck and Bessie “Songbird” Young pick up trash on the beach at Wendy Park on Wednesday, Nov. 8.
Absolut Vodka is kicking off its Cleveland campaign to skip the straw at 3 p.m. today at Lego in the East Bank of the Flats.
For every straw drinkers decline, Absolut will make a donation to the Lake Erie Foundation, according to a press release. The company will donate up to $5,000 in Cleveland and Put-in-Bay, where it is also encouraging people to sip straight from the glass.
Straws, along with plastic cigar tips, are among the most prolific and pervasive pieces of plastic in the Great Lakes.
Together, the United States and Canada discard 22 million pounds of plastic into Great Lakes waters, according to a Rochester Institute of Technology study. Much of it comes flushed from streets, through storm drains and into the lake. Then it washes up on shore, making up about 80 percent of the litter on beaches.
Grilled cheese restaurant Melt also urges guests to skip the straw.
Absolut has teamed up with Keep America Beautiful, a national organization encouraging people to take action toward improving and beautifying their communities. Locally, Absolut is working with MareAthletic and Green Girl Gang to spread the message on going strawless.