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'We do care:' Macon restaurant passes out eco-friendly metal, agave fiber straws to customers

Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission, Stratford Academy ecology club students, and El Sombrero staff worked together to educate customers about non-plastic options.

MACON, Ga. — One Macon restaurant said goodbye to plastic straws and showed customers what other options are out there.

Sabrina Burse went to the event at El Sombrero on Forsyth Road held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Customers had a choice between metal straws or straws made of agave fiber. 

Tuesday night, customers at El Sombrero were greeted by students in the Stratford Academy ecology club.

Restaurant owner Ernesto Aguirre, Stratford Academy students, and Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission teamed up to serve customers plastic straw alternatives.

"We provided the stainless steel straws and we have 500 that we are test marketing tonight," said Pam Carswell with Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission. 

Carswell says each metal straw is dishwasher safe and comes with a silicone tip for people with sensitive teeth. They also come with a brush to clean them.

"The end goal of course is the behavioral change getting the consumer to think about protecting our environment and making that big switch," said Carswell. 

The restaurant provided agave fiber straws. 

"I prefer the plant-based straw," said customer Yvonne Sullivan. 

Sullivan was shocked to hear some facts behind plastic use.

She learned there would be more plastic than fish in the ocean in 2050 by weight from trivia cards placed on each table.

"Now, that's amazing. That is so sad," said Sullivan. 

Stratford Academy student Varnika Guduri was one of many students who surveyed customers. 

"There is a really big strive to create a more ecological friendly community and we want to be able to show that we do care about the environment," said Guduri. 

Jack Napier was also open to non-plastic straw options. 

"I like the texture. It's just really cool," said Napier. 

Stratford ecology club students will analyze the data collected Tuesday night from the surveys and present the data results to Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful. They also want to try to get on the agenda to speak to Macon-Bibb commissioners. 

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