A&W Canada Repurposes Plastic Straws To Show "Change is Good"

by Rudy Sanchez on 01/24/2019 | 2 Minute Read

A&W Canada, the second largest hamburger chain in the Great White North, has recently decided to ditch plastic straws at all of their locations (the Canadian A&W chain has been a wholly different company since 1972) and instead offer biodegradable paper straws. Of course, transitioning to paper straws has left the burger chain with a lot of extra plastic straws—about 140,000 of them.

Rather than continue serving plastic straws until they’ve exhausted their supply, or worse yet, throwing them away, A&W commissioned a sculpture made up of their leftover straws.

Editorial photograph

The sculpture was created by Toronto design firms Rethink and TYGH and installed in front of Toronto’s Union Station. The 35-foot long sculpture spells out “Change is good” along with a poster explaining the installation:

“We’ve introduced sustainably sourced 100% compostable, biodegradable, and marine-degradable paper straws across all A&W locations - helping keep about 82 million single-use plastic straws from landfills each year. It’s one big way to show just how good change can be.”

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

A&W Canada is the first major North American fast food chain to drop single-use plastic straws in favor of marine-degradable straws, protecting fragile water ecosystems.

The impact of plastic straws on the environment gained attention when a graphic video of a sea turtle having a straw removed from its nostril filmed by marine biologist Christine Figgener went viral. Now, a few companies have committed to reducing or removing plastic straws from their locations such as Starbucks and Disney, and several governments have banned or restricted them, including California (kind of) and cities like Seattle and Miami Beach.

Editorial photograph

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