Bethany Blues decided to go strawless at its locations.

Environmental responsibility has been a key philosophy of Bethany Blues since its conception. From the green roof on top of the Lewes location, to assessing the impact of their product use, including recycling their deep fry oil and their use of eco-friendly paper products in state parks, the Bethany Blues team has been on a mission to be as sustainable as possible.

This year, when Victoria Bailor, assistant general manager, saw a campaign spearheaded by the Surf Rider Foundation in Ocean City about going strawless, she knew it was a good fit for Blues.

“Since we are so close to the beach, it made a lot of sense to me as the next natural step,” said Bailor.

This summer, they made it official and went strawless. Drinks aren’t served with straws unless requested, and guests will find placards on tables and the bars adorned with a hashtag #skipthestraw explaining why this mission is important to the brand.

For the Lewes location alone, annual usage was about 187,200 straws. By not offering a straw with each drink, they are seeing a 75 percent reduction in their straw usage — plastic that won’t make its way to landfills or the ocean.

“The idea is that if we can help further the movement, then you can imagine how many straws we’ll eliminate. And there are a lot of emerging alternatives, so going forward, plastic may not even be in use for straws at all,” said Bailor.

Bethany Blues is also phasing out plastic foam products and swapping in wheatgrass-based to-go containers. The new containers feel like cardboard, are sustainable and will eliminate the use of about 800 to-go boxes each week.

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