Plastic-Free Fast Food

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Plastic-Free Fast Food

multi-colored straws

This month is Plastic Free July, and my FCVoters team and I are personally challenging ourselves to cut our single-use plastic consumption. Breaking bad habits starts with seeing the impact it has on our lives, and nothing motivates me more than seeing discarded plastic bottles and other waste in our waterways. I have pledged to be a part of the solution – to play my part in building a more sustainable future. 

Plastic Free July is a great time to highlight ways that we can make small changes to our lifestyles to make a big difference in our communities. Living without single-use plastics is no easy feat. Plastics are all around us, even when we take steps to recycle. To avoid plastics, we have to refuse what is comfortable and convenient. Want to grab breakfast on the way to work? Your sandwich is packaged in plastic. Need an afternoon pick-me-up? Your coffee comes in a plastic cup with a plastic top and plastic straw. Fast food and take-out services use a lot of plastic, and while many brands are making the switch to sustainable packaging alternatives, we have a ways to go to bringing innovations mainstream. While we wait, here are three items you can bring with you to save plastic packaging waste:

1. Reusable containers

Skipping out on plastics doesn’t mean you have to avoid eating at your favorite restaurant. When the check comes and your stomach is full, take home your leftovers in your own reusable container. I like to bring a Tupperware with me in my purse, but there are also collapsible containers that make it easy to take it on the go. 

2. Reusable cup

I love my reusable cups. From coffee cups with lids to insulated canisters, cups are becoming a versatile, fashionable item, sustainably made in every color and pattern under the sun. When I order my favorite drinks while out and about, I ask the barista to use my reusable cup. At some establishments, they may even give you a discount!

3. Reusable straw

Straws have become a common enemy and a symbol of waste reduction as a whole. You can find reusable straws in a variety of materials, including metal, paper, silicon, and even bamboo. Some companies sell the reusable straws with convenient cases and cleaning supplies for to-go sustainability.

No one is saying that ditching single-use plastics is easy – in fact, its really, really hard – but clean waterways and healthy communities are so worth it.


  1. Barry Wray says:

    Please reach out to us as soon as you can. I am the central coordinator for the Plastic Free Keys. We had 2 of the 6 municipalities in the Keys working on eliminating single use retail plastic distribution (Key West and Islamorada). We are disappointed over the recent court ruling and the municipalities that have repealed their ordinances. We believe it is time to address Publix and bring them into the Publix exposure. We have also made recent progress with Gov DeSantis. A letter I wrote was hand delivered. From his comments, I believe we can repeal the preemptions. One initiative behind the scenes, and one public and direct toward those businesses that do not understand we are a the largest coastline of any state and the plastic issue is critical. At some point our state needs to have an environmental ethic that is representative of the ecosystems that so many people come to visit us for . Barry Wray 305-304-9898,

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