A plastic straw may not seem like a big issue, but when added up the estimated 200 million plastic straws is consumed in New Zealand each year, plastic straws create a large problem for the environment.

As part of the Plastic Free July Aotearoa challenge, Auckland Council is encouraging Aucklanders to choose to refuse single-use plastic straws.

According to Sustainable Coastlines, single-use plastics, including straws, make up more than three-quarters of the 1.3 million litres of rubbish they've removed from New Zealand beaches.

Each year Sustainable Coastlines pick up more than 23,200 plastic straws from Auckland beaches alone – they are the ninth highest offender of beach clean-up items. 

It may seem like an insignificant change to make but eliminating single-use plastic straws will help reduce rubbish going to landfill and clean up our local beaches and coastlines.

If one is a big fan of drinking with a straw, there are alternatives. A number of restaurants and food outlets are using paper straws, or one can always take your their own reusable straw.

Auckland Council is appealing to choose to refuse from using plastic and it is the call to action for Plastic Free July Aotearoa, encouraging people to refuse single-use plastic and reduce plastic waste.

Millions of people from more than 170 countries are part of the global Plastic Free July movement to turn the tide on plastic polluting our oceans, streets, and countryside. 

"We’re supporting the global challenge and encouraging Aucklanders to take simple, daily actions to create long-lasting habits that minimize single-use plastic waste," Auckland Council says.

Find out more about the challenge and receive free tips and advice here.

Alternatives to plastic straws

  • Refuse - just say 'no thanks'
  • Paper
  • Glass
  • Stainless steel
  • Bamboo
  • Hay (wheat stems)
  • Papaya Leaf Stems
  • Edible straw