Join Annapolis Green in the Movement Away from Single-Use Plastic

It Starts with a Straw

What You Can Do


If you own a food establishment

Establish a straw policy

  • Good: Keep the plastic but have your staff ask patrons if they want a straw rather than automatically putting a plastic straw in every glass. 
  • Better: Switch to alternatives such as paper, pasta, bamboo, silicon or stainless steel straws.
  • Best: Just eliminate straws (except for patrons with medical conditions that require straws). You'll find that most patrons won't want a straw. 
  • Brag! Tell your patrons that because you care about the environment, you're reducing (or eliminating plastic straws). It's a selling point that will make your establishment stand out as a responsible environmental steward, and that's good for business. 

Change your to-go options

  • By July 1, 2020, it will be illegal to provide expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam) for good service in Maryland. Don't wait! Stop buying these products and switch to Earth-friendly products such as paper, cardboard or aluminum foil. Your paper supplier can find you the right products for your business. 

Ditch the plastic bag

  • For to-go orders, offer your patrons a paper bag instead. A bag with your logo and a saying such as "We're reducing our plastic footprint" is great advertising for your efforts, and again, it's good for business.

If you're a customer

Make your voice heard

  • Say thank you to restaurants, bars, and coffee shops that have reduced their plastic footprint. We've got cards you can leave behind to do just that.
  • Tell the managers of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops that are offering plastic (or Styrofoam) products that you, a customer, would like them to change their practices. We've got cards you can leave behind to do just that.

Be our eyes & ears

  • If you know of an establishment that is doing things right -- or not -- let us know so we can be in touch, or add them to the list at the right. We want to applaud those that are on board and help those who are not quite there yet. 
  • Let us know if you’d like to help in a more formal way by reaching out to specific restaurant,  bar, and coffee shop owners. You can start the conversation at your favorite watering hole. We’ll equip you with information and product samples.

Help us spread the word

  • Annapolis Green is in the process of producing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram messages you can share on your own networks to get the word out about how single-use plastics such as straws are a thing of the past. 
  • Tell your own stories on social media, especially with photos. Have you been to a place where there is plastic litter? Yes, of course you have. It's everywhere. Please tag #itstartswithastraw and @annapolisgreen
  • Take a photo, write about how this is not acceptable and reference our campaign in your own way. When you see somebody saying NO to the plastic straw, take a photo and post it! Give them credit for sipping responsibly. Then tell us all about it!
  • Help us get the word out in your circles. Talk to your neighbors, family and friends, your PTA, your faith-based community, and your homeowners' association about the need to cut single-use plastic.

We Can Recycle Plastic Straws


Plastic straws put in a conventional recycling bin won't be recycled. They are so narrow that they fall through the conveyor belts in recycling facilities so they end up in the landfill or worse, as litter in our waterways. Help Annapolis Green collect plastic straws for proper recycling -- whether they've been used, found littering the streets or shores of our creeks, or taking up space in your kitchen or restaurant. We're working with TerraCycle to make this happen. Look for the distinctive TerraCycle box at the locations below. 

Hobo Bags 

     194 Green Street (just of Main)

Visit Annapolis 

     26 West Street

Annapolis Green

    92 Maryland Avenue

Hobo's fabulous bags will carry a card with our message about reducing the plastic footprint in every bag. And Visit Annapolis will spread the word at the Visitors’ Center. Thank you for this great community collaboration!

Instead of Plastic:

There are many places where you can buy a reusable straw – glass, bamboo, silicone, paper, pasta, or stainless steel – including Rasa Juice Shop on Maryland Avenue where a steel kit is available.