Keeper of the Plans

Tanganyika Wildlife Park won't give you a straw with your drink

Environmental groups say that up to 500 million plastic beverage straws are used every day in the United States.
Environmental groups say that up to 500 million plastic beverage straws are used every day in the United States. Dreamstime/TNS

The latest sign of a growing national movement, Tanganyika Wildlife Park will not give away single-use plastic straws with its drinks.

The popular Goddard attraction is doing so to draw attention to the problems discarded plastic straws can cause in the environment.

"There's small things you can do to try and impact the environment," said Matt Fouts, assistant director of the park. "Not only is it better for our animals, but for the environment too."

The no-straw movement has gained popularity in recent months, as environmental groups have said discarded straws adversely affect ocean-dwelling animals. Straw Free, an environmentalist group, estimates 500 million plastic straws are used every day in the United States, many of which end up in oceans.

For those who prefer straws, the park is selling souvenir cups complete with reusable straws for $10. Park guests with one of these souvenir cups get free refills all season long, according to Fouts.

Fouts said Tanganyika has actually been straw-free for years, but is speaking out about the issue now to encourage others to take action.

Chewbacca, Tanganyika Wildlife Park's newest sloth, explores his home for the first time. Chewbacca was officially introduced to the public April 27, 2018.

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