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500 million.

This is the number of plastic straws the US uses every single day.

Quick arithmetic will tell you that is roughly 180 billion straws a year. While they are small and perhaps thought of as harmless, 180 billion of anything made out of plastic has the potential to be extremely harmful to any environment.

Plastic straws are now a major source of plastic pollution in the Virgin Islands, because they are a single use plastic item put into most restaurant drinks served in the Virgin Islands.

And all those straws, add up.

Recognizing this,  The Coral Bay Community Council, Get Trashed-St. John, and Plastic Free Island: St John have made removing them from restaurants a top priority. This has lead the trio to unite in creating the “No Straw, Please” Social Media Campaign and Competition. The three organizations have been coordinating their efforts with Plastic Pollution Coalition which is responsible for the nationwide “The Last Plastic Straw” campaign.

The campaign kick-off is a “no plastic straw” humorous video posted on the Coral Bay Community Council (CBCC) Facebook page. The video begins the campaign and announces a video making competition where anyone in the VI can create a 30-60 second video about plastic straws and their impact and win a great prize! The video can be fun, humorous, informational, documentary, dramatic, or even cartoonish.  The deadline for submission is July 23rd. The videos will be compiled by CBCC and Plastic Free Island: St.

John and shown publicly at the end of July. A team of judges will choose the winner and runner up, prizes include 2-night mini vacations at Gallows Point Resort and Concordia Eco Resort, including dinners at The Westin, Extra Virgin Bistro, The Thirsty Donkey, and Skinny Legs, and breakfasts at The Triple B and Cruz Bay Landing.

To date on St. John, several restaurants have become completely straw free. In Cruz Bay-Asolare, Barefoot Cowboy, Joe’s Rum Hut, Rhumblines, Waterfront Bistro and Ocean 362, and in Coral Bay- Skinny Legs, Indigo Grill, The Triple B, The Thirsty Donkey, and Concordia Eco-Resort.

To download and complete an application as well as the conditions of the competition, click here: CBCC No Straws Please Application

To learn more about the competition, ask a question, or to submit a video, contact Scott Eanes at the Coral Bay Community Council at 340-776-2099 or email him at scott@coralbaycommunitycouncil.org.

WE HAVE A WINNER!!!

The video competition yielded some great videos but in the end, Leah Burke, a resident of St. John came through with an excellent educational video!

 

Including the Runner Ups-Gina Wellner and her girls that made a great “No Straw, Please” video that we turned into a PSA for all the VI!

and if you missed it and wanted to hear their interview on WUVI radio, we got you covered.

Lastly. the Coral Bay Community Council would like to thank all the participants, and show their incredible work!

This is Jorge Sarmiento Jr’s video!

Cindy Sherear who made her first ever video!

Friends of the VI National Park Tonia Lovejoy!