With talk of the Ontario County Landfill due to close in 2028, Canandaigua wants to limit solid waste and lessen pollution. Last year, the Ordinance Committee in Canandaigua began a discussion on banning the use of plastic straws. The Committee decided to explore potentially adding other items to reduce waste. But tonight was “straw talk” and a chance for restaurants to voice any concerns on a plastic to paper transition. 

Denise Chaapel, Business Improvement District Director says, “Our council is doing amazing things as far as the Green Initiative and such.”

Chaapel says the paper straw transition might not need to be a pushy ban on plastic. “What we need to focus on now is education…not enforcement,” she says.

Chaapel says businesses are warming up to the idea once they learn more. Some area Wegmans are using them, and the school district is looking into it. A few restaurants in Canandaigua are already sipping up with paper.

Emily Rovet, a shift manager at Simply Crepes on Main Street says, “We switched over about a year ago, and everyone here is very environmentally friendly.”

The straws are actually pretty durable, they can sit in your drink for a while and the suction? The same as plastic. And the best part? They’re biodegradable.

Rovet says she doesn’t know many restaurants that have them, but she’s hoping that will change and go beyond just straws. Thai By Night, another local restaurant, uses paper straws, and zero plastic. 

John Guatteury, the owner of Thai By Night says, “We decided when we opened, we were not going to use any plastics.”

He says Canandaigua is on the cutting edge environmentally, but like Denise Chaapel, he feels passing any kind of laws might not be the answer. “I think if you incentivize people and you get them to believe in it, I think that can really make a big difference.”

The next Ordinance Committee will be on June 18.