06 Aug Bethany Blues Goes Strawless
Environmental responsibility has been a key philosophy of Bethany Blues since its conception. From the green roof on top of the Lewes location, to constantly assessing the impact of their product use, including recycling their deep fry oil, and their use of eco-friendly paper products in state parks, the team at Blues is on a mission to be as sustainable as possible.
This year, when Victoria Bailor, Assistant General Manager, saw a campaign spearheaded by the Surf Rider Foundation in Ocean City about going strawless, she knew it was a good fit for Blues. Bailor says, “Since we are so close to the beach, it made a lot of sense to me as the next natural step.”
So, this summer they made it official and went strawless at both locations. Patrons may or may not notice this small change. Drinks simply aren’t served with straws unless requested, and you’ll find placards on tables and the bars adorned with a hashtag #skipthestraw explaining why this mission is important to their brand. And while the changes appear small, it amounts to big impacts, overall.
In a single case there are 7,200 plastic straws. For the Lewes location alone that meant an annual usage of 187,200 straws. By not offering a straw with each drink, they are seeing a 75% reduction in their straw usage—which is a lot of plastic that won’t make its way to landfills, or even worse, the ocean. Bailor and her team are very proud of this fact. Customers don’t often notice how much they are making a positive impact on the environment just by making this simple change…and they often don’t even miss the straw.
She says, “The idea is that if we can help further the movement, then you can imagine how many straws we’ll eliminate. And there are a lot of emerging alternatives, so going forward, plastic may not even be in use for straws at all.”
For Bethany Blues, going strawless is only the beginning. In a bold move, they are also currently phasing out all styrofoam products and swapping in a wheatgrass-based to-go containers. The new containers feel very much like cardboard and are sustainable. This will eliminate the use of approximately 800 to-go boxes that go out weekly.
With their sights on the environment, Bethany Blues is a company that is true to their roots, and looks to sustain the relationship with the environment that so many of us hold in high esteem. They are excited to see so many other restaurants engaged in similar efforts, especially with an economy that relies heavily on tourism and keeping our beaches beautiful. If you’re in one of their locations and are skipping the straw, snap a pic and use the hashtag #skipthestraw while you enjoy a drink AND help the environment!