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Why Plastic Straw Bans Are Finally Gaining Traction

This week on the Eater Upsell, we learn how the anti-straw movement picked up steam and what it’s like to be a paper straw kingpin in 2018

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Starbucks To Eliminate Plastic Straws By 2020 Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Plastic straws have become the villain we can (mostly!) all cheer against, but how did we get here? This week on the Eater Upsell we try to find out.

First, researcher Sam Athey explains why straws are significant in the fight against plastic pollution. Eater editor Brenna Houck tells us how the anti-straw movement went from a niche environmental cause to a widespread campaign altering the policies of cities, countries, and multinational companies around the world with a little help from a bloody turtle and a B-list celebrity. Finally, David Rhodes, the global business director at Aardvark paper Straws — and maybe the busiest man in America right now — shares what it’s like to be at one of the fastest growing companies ever. He wants you to give paper straws a second chance.

If you want to learn more about the world of straws, check out our explainer here, an op-ed from a disabled plastic straw user here, and Daniel’s full interview with America’s paper straw kingpin David Rhodes here.

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