Rehoboth Beach Board of Commissioners endorses elimination of single-use plastic straws

May 26, 2021

The City of Rehoboth Beach Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution at its May 21 meeting that endorses elimination of single-use plastic straws. The resolution encourages restaurants and other food service facilities to voluntarily discontinue use of plastic straws and to offer beginning January 1 only paper straws, except in situations where plastic straws may be required, for medical reasons, for example.

The resolution was recommended by the city’s Environment Committee, which is chaired by Commissioner Richard Byrne.

“Rehoboth Beach is an environmentally conscious and proactive community,” says Byrne, “and we want to ensure that our beach continues to remain one of the cleanest on the East Coast. It’s clear that plastic straws are a significant source of pollution in our oceans and on beaches and that they pose a health risk to marine and human life. I’m proud that our community is taking action to address this important issue, and we sincerely appreciate support from our local businesses.”

Each day, more than 500 million plastic straws are used in the United States. Plastic straws take up to 400 years to decompose in landfills and often gum up recycling machinery. Straws frequently end up in oceans, and scientists have stated that, at the current plastic use rate, more plastic than fish will be in oceans by 2050. Studies indicate that plastic is already in our food supply – as microplastics in seafood – and that more than 90% of marine animals have consumed plastic.