no straws toronto

Toronto bars are no longer giving straws with drinks

"Um, Excuse me? Could I please get a straw?... Hello?"

It's a question that bartenders know well, and it can usually be answered by pointing in the direction of a cup filled with little plastic straws.

But if you're in an establishment that takes conservation seriously, as more and more places are pledging to do, you'll simply get a "no."

The anti-straw movement has been spreading across restaurants and bars around the world since at least 2015, when marine researchers shared disturbing footage of a sea turtle with a plastic straw lodged up its nose on YouTube.

"This video shows why plastic trash is detrimental to marine life," reads the video's description, "and why especially plastic straws are one of the most superfluous items made out of plastic... Say 'NO' to plastic straws, and any kind of one-time use plastic items!"

Since the clip went viral, conservationists and concerned business owners alike have been using hashtags like #StrawsSuck, #StrawsAreForSuckers and #RefuseTheStraw to spread the same message.

At least two popular bars in downtown Toronto – The Dakota Tavern and The Gift Shop Cocktail Bar – have vocally joined the anti-straw movement, along with dozens of pubs and clubs in The U.K.

CBC Toronto reports that Gift Shop now offers biodegradable straws to customers, and only if they ask for one. The Dakota Tavern stopped handing out straws altogether a few months ago, and has now placed a colourful "Straws Suck" sign behind the bar.

Toronto Twitter users have also praised spots like Clinton's Tavern for taking a stand against plastic waste. Conversely, some people have called local establishments out on Twitter for not ditching plastic straws.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns


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