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Abell Point Marina village joins The Last Straw Great Barrier Reef campaign

Abell Point Marina village has joined The Last Straw Great Barrier Reef campaign, developed to reduce the use of plastic straws in venues around Australia.

The Last Straw was developed as a result of over 500 million plastic straws being discarded every day globally, with each straw taking up to 450 years to start to degrade.

With 27 marina businesses and over 53 commercial tourism operators calling Abell Point Marina home, the marina’s next focus was to spread the message and encourage participation in the campaign.

In an overwhelming response, all five marina food venues have taken the pledge to becoming plastic straw free - Abell Point Marina is now the first marina in Australia to have all its venues commit to the campaign. Hemingway’s, Lure, The Kiosk Café, Bohemian Raw Café and Sorrento Restaurant & Bar stopped providing plastic straws in beverages, with paper straws available upon request.

Bohemian Raw Café has used initiative to sell reusable stainless straws to customers – offering a complimentary reusable straw with the first smoothie purchased.

Kat Harrison, owner of the initiative, stated, “The response has been overwhelming, particularly from our regulars, and we have had to purchase new straws already to keep up with the demand.”

The Kiosk Café, as well as removing plastic straws, has gravitated towards cardboard takeaway boxes and sandwich packs, to further their commitment to becoming plastic free.

Nicole Nash, marine biologist and founder of The Last Straw Great Barrier Reef, explained, “Abell Point Marina is the not only the first marina in Queensland, but the first in Australia, to have all of its venues plastic straw free.

“With over 80% of marine debris entering the ocean from a land-based source, it is essential that both land and sea venues curb their plastic consumption. This is a massive achievement to all staff and businesses involved and will only inspire more venues to join the current 225 venues who have pledged to never use plastic straws again."

The Last Straw has become influential on many of the marina’s tourism operators, with Explore Whitsundays, Whitsunday Sailing Adventures, Ocean Rafting, Red Cat Adventures, Providence Sailing and Whitsunday Escape, Charter Yachts Australia and Cumberland Charter Yachts all committing to the pledge.

Kate Purdie, Abell Point’s general manager, discussed the importance of conserving the marine environment: “The businesses within our marina share the beautiful Whitsunday beaches and marine life with hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

“We see protecting these natural assets as our responsibility, so we are committed to marine conservation. By eliminating plastic straws from our food outlets, we have eliminated 70,000 straws per annum from being discarded. The marina is already plastic bag free and our participation in The Last Straw campaign is a great next step in our environmental strategy. We hope to lead the way for other marinas to follow suit and encourage all their venues to become plastic straw free.”

The Last Straw campaign has 155 official member venues, with approximately 20 million plastic straws saved from use. Anyone can support the campaign, alongside supporting campaigns taking place across the world.

For more information on the campaign, visit The Last Straw.

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