Last summer, thanks to Surfrider Foundation, a strawless movement made its way across the Hamptons during the strawless summer campaign, an effort to decrease the number of unrecyclable plastic straws that often find their way into marine environments.
The initiative to go strawless resonated with many, and now Hampton Coffee Company has joined the cause by eliminating plastic drinking straws from all of its cafés. Instead, the East End-based family-owned espresso bars and cafés will offer marine-biodegradable paper straws, which will be available by request only. Hampton Coffee expects the switch to eliminate the use of approximately 200,000 plastic straws on a yearly basis.
“We are always listening to what our guests are feeling and causes that they are involved in,” said Hampton Coffee Company co-owner Jason Belkin. “Being based in an oceanside community, plastic straw pollution in the marine environment has become a chief concern to many, including our staff.”
The marine bio-degradable straws will be supplied by a new local business, The Paper Straw Girl.
“We were lucky to find Meghan Molloy, a local who started a paper straw company called The Paper Straw Girl, and she helped us find a quality paper straw that would hold up in a to go cup of our famous Iced Coffee but still be environmentally-friendly,” Belkin added.
Being as green as possible has been important to Hampton Coffee since its founding 24 years ago. All the locations – Water Mill, Southampton, Westhampton Beach and Aquebogue – are Green Cafés that utilize single stream recycling, as well as LED lighting, and several reusable cups and tumblers are available for purchase – with discounts offered when they are brought back. The Water Mill location, which is the original Hampton Coffee, uses solar panels and oil recycling into biofuel, while the Southampton coffee roastery ships mail orders Carbon Neutral with UPS, its java jackets are printed on compostable paperboard utilizing vegetable inks, and Single Cups are produced in bio-degradable packaging.