Skip the Straw Project

Skip the Straw, artwork by Monique, Hampton Academy Grade 6Last year, a heartbreaking video of a sea turtle went viral. This video showed researchers removing a 4-inch long straw from the sea turtle’s nasal passage.

There are lots of different types of litter, but straws are disposable items that aren’t always necessary.  Through this project, we’re trying to talk with consumers and restaurant owners about the impacts of plastic pollution and encourage them to Skip the Straw.

Fast Facts About Straws:

  • Americans use over 500 million drinking straws per day. That’s enough straws to stretch around the Earth 2.5 times each day!
  • Locally last year, volunteers picked up more than 1,700 straws at our beach cleanups.  Nearly half of those were on Hampton Beach.
  • Americans could fill about 46,400 school buses with all the straws they use in one year.

The Project

With the help of two Proctor Academy students, Crowley Gentile and Alex Wycoff,  and students from Hampton Academy who contributed artwork, we’ve been reaching out to businesses to ask them to Skip the Straw. Participation can include encouraging patrons to skip the straw,  getting rid of straws altogether or using eco-friendly alternatives such as paper straws.

Why Do We Care?

  • Animal Welfare. Plastic straws are ingested by marine animals. 
  • Human Welfare. In addition to presenting an ingestion hazard to wildlife, plastic straws break down over time into smaller pieces that can impact the entire food chain, including the seafood we eat.
  • We Like Pretty Beaches. Straws are among the top 10 plastic debris found at coastal cleanups.

Take Action

Project Partners

Ocean Conservancy
Surfrider Foundation, NH Chapter
Great Bay Piscataqua Waterkeeper

Fact Sources: 

Artwork by Monique, Hampton Academy Grade 6