Last Straw Toronto

More than 80 Toronto bars are going to stop using straws

Local hospitality industry veterans are encouraging every bar and restaurant in Toronto to stop sucking next Saturday and, so far, more than 80 have said yes.

The Last Straw is a day-long environmental initiative aimed at raising awareness about plastic waste.

Similar to globally-targeted projects like Refuse The Straw and The Last Plastic Straw, this movement aims to show bar owners, staff and guests that "straws are not necessary to enjoy a beverage" — especially given how many of them end up in landfills.

"While each straw represents only a small piece of unrecyclable plastic, over 50 million straws are thrown out each day across the country," reads a press release from the event's organizers.

"They end up in landfills, on beaches and are devastatingly harmful to marine life."

Indeed, the anti-straw movement has been gaining steam all over the globe since at least 2015, when marine researchers shared disturbing footage of a sea turtle with a plastic straw lodged up its nose on YouTube.

The Last Straw differs from other no-straw initiatives in that it specifically goes after restaurants and bars in Toronto, and only for one day, on April 21.

Organizers hope, however, that businesses continue to go straw-free after the 21st — or that they at least take a more mindful approach in their distribution of single use plastics moving forward.

"This project is born out of the desire to shift perspectives," reads the group's website. "Small changes can make a big difference."

Organizers say that response to the project has been overwhelmingly positive so far, with more and more venues signing on each day.

So far, more than 80 establishments have pledged support for the moveent, including Hemmingway's, the Monarch Tavern, Java HouseInsomnia, Pie Bar and every bar and restaurant owned by The Landing Group, The Firkin Group, Fab Concepts and  The Duke Pubs.

The Dakota Tavern will also be straw-free on April 21st, but it's been that way for more than a year now. The Dakota is an OG, plastic-free pioneer, but the Last Straw campaign could finally help going strawless become a city-wide trend. 

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns at Hemingway's


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