Stainless steel straws hit Wollongong's Lower East cafe

No time to waste: Prue Krishnayya, co-owner of Lower East cafe in Wollongong, with a collection of the cafe's reusable metal straws. Picture: Adam McLean.
No time to waste: Prue Krishnayya, co-owner of Lower East cafe in Wollongong, with a collection of the cafe's reusable metal straws. Picture: Adam McLean.

The push to cut plastic waste from the retail and hospitality industries continues to gather pace, as a Wollongong cafe takes a stand against disposable plastic straws.

The owners of Lower East cafe on Crown St have brought in re-usable stainless steel straws for dine-in customers, after identifying the discarded plastic tubes as one of the top marine debris problem items.

And while they might look like something from a dentist’s toolkit, the straws are completely enjoyable to drink from, taking the chill from the drink all the way up to the next level.

”it’s a way that we can make a dent,” co-owner Prue Krishnayya said.

“Generally the feedback’s been really positive.

“Some people might have been concerned about re-using them but they’re cleaned thoroughly with a pipe cleaner, washed and sterilised.”

She said the ABC TV series War on Waste had “sparked a whole discussion about how much we waste and how much ends up in the ocean”.

Straw supplier Litter Free Living said Lower East was the first cafe in NSW to embrace the steel tubes.

Next up comes the takeaway straws, and finding a way to replace them with a sustainable alternative.

Soon you will be able to play your part too: Lower East will be selling the straws in take-with-you packs of six, complete with a mini pipe cleaner.