06 • 08 • 2019

Say NO to Straws, Norwalk!

The Connecticut Chapter worked with our Northeast Regional Manager and local residents to pass a straw mitigation ordinance in Norwalk, Connecticut.

The Norwalk Common Council voted unanimously on September 24, 2019 to pass an ordinance to mitigate pollution from single-use plastic straws! 

At the request of the Common Council Ordinance Committee, our Northeast Regional Manager reviewed the proposed ordinance and offered feedback on the language and policy mechanisms. We recommended advancing a ban on plastic straws and ask-first policy for natural-made straws (non-plastic), while negotiating accommodation for persons identifying as living with disability and their advocates to account for the real need for certain types of straws to be available for drinking aid. While the final ordinance institutes an ask-first policy rather than a ban on straws, it does ban plastic stirrers and is a good step in the right direction for urging a shift in consumer behavior and limiting pollution from straws. 

Our Connecticut Chapter vice chair Rachel Precious spoke at the public hearing, as did Olivia, a twelve year old student who participated in the chapter's cleanup with Skip the Straw Norwalk on International Coastal Cleanup Day, 9/21/19. Olivia brought all the straws picked up off the beach on Saturday with her to the hearing to ask the council to support the straw mitigation ordinance.

On the heels of the Youth Climate Strike held on September 20, 2019, where an estimated 4 million people participated in strikes worldwide to demand immediate climate action just three days ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit and five days ahead of the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is more clear than ever that youth will lead the way for implementing solutions to sustain life on the planet. 

The Surfrider Foundation applauds the work of the Norwalk Common Council for recognizing the connection between plastic pollution and the climate crisis, and championing progress to help lead the way forward by passing local laws that will help build the case for support of state law. 

Learn more about how plastic pollution is connected to climate change by visiting Beachapedia

Plastic Pollution