Straw Army on the March

Friday 18th of October 2013

POSTED BY: Amy Warne, Earth Carers Coordinator

Wouldn’t you be proud to live in a city without plastic drinking straws? Imagine explaining to visiting friends ‘Oh no, we don’t use straws in Perth, they are stupid’.  Well this is the vision of our inspirational Earth Carers volunteer Columba.

Columba is on a mission to rid the city of straws. Her method is simple. She visits cafes, bars and restaurants and asks them to put straws under the counter out of view and to only provide them on request. The café also must display a sign explaining that they do not give straws for environmental reasons.

Columba is a school teacher and has spent her recent school holidays pounding the pavement charming young baristas with her beautiful Irish accent. She as visited 56 premises and has had a fantastic response!  12 premises’ have signed up with another 15 managers agreeing, just waiting for the tick of approval from the owners – that’s potentially 27 premises now not giving out straws! Here is an example, these gorgeous girls are part of the friendly staff at Beaches Café.


Kadek from Bali, on left, says that she is delighted to partake in the Straw Army Campaign. She says, “I wish we had this program in Bali also. I am very concerned about the plastic pollution of my island.” Mel her workmate quips, “This is a brilliant idea! As a nature lover I am dismayed about the amount of plastic refuse in our rivers and oceans. Nobody is getting a plastic straw at Beaches unless they request it”. Thanks girls! Beaches is open from 6.30am every day. Drop in for a coffee or a tasty breakfast. The staff are really friendly and hard working. Mmmn now, what was that I read in a ‘how to be happy’ book? ah yes! “Always tip breakfast waitresses”!!

Columba also has some big ticket joints under her belt like The Leederville Hotel and Aviary Rooftop Restaurant. Here is the complete list of places which have freely given out ‘the last straw’, but we suspect this is just the beginning…

Aviary Rooftop Restaurant, Perth

Leederville Hotel, Leederville

Monogram Café at the Grove, Peppermint Grove

Beaches Café, Cottesloe

The Dancing Goat Café, Swanbourne

Espresso Café, in Mos Arts Centre, Mosman Park

Eden Salad Bar, Subiaco

Gourmet on Wray, Fremantle

Scutti, South Perth

X-Wray Café, Fremantle

Book Café, South Perth

Secret Garden Cafe, Perth

If you want to ‘join the march’ with Columba she’d love to have some helpers! Drop her an email if you are interested. Also, check our Plastic Free July website for an updated list of straw free premises’ and the tools to charm your local café into giving out their last straw!


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