500 million straws are used in the U.S. each day—many never making it to recycling bins, instead to join the billions of others polluting our rivers, lakes, beaches and oceans.
Although plastic straws make up only about 2,000 tons of the 9 billion tons of plastic waste that ends up making it to the ocean each year, they’ve become a hot topic and a good starting place to initiate change. Whole cities like Seattle and San Francisco are ditching single use plastics, and major brands like Starbucks and Disney have committed to eliminating their use of plastic straws within the next year or so.
Despite Alabama legislators’ efforts to prohibit local governments from banning single use plastic bags (which stalled in the Senate), many local Birmingham businesses have taken it upon themselves to ditch single-use plastics and opt for environmentally alternatives. Here are 14 places around Birmingham no longer using plastic straws + other single use plastics… also, where you can shop locally to buy your own alternatives!
Plastic Straws Are Out, Saving the Earth is In
- 4426 4th Ave S, Birmingham, AL
- Closed Monday + Tuesday | Open Wed-Thurs + Sun 11AM-9PM, Fri 11AM-12AM, Sat 11AM-1AM
- Tropicaleo offers metal straws to patrons upon request and wooden stirrers in their cocktails. Otherwise, drinks do not come with a straw.
- 112 24th St N #102, Birmingham, AL
- Closed Mon | Open Tues-Thurs 4PM-12AM, Fri-Sat 4PM-2AM, Sun 4PM-12AM
- Queen’s Park is known for their colorful and adventurous cocktails. The fact that they use colorful paper straws is just the cherry on top!
- 212 29th St S, Birmingham, AL
- Closed Sun | Open Mon-Thurs 11AM-10PM, Fri 11AM-12AM, Sat 4PM-12AM
- At The Lumbar in Pepper Place, you can expect to find paper straws in every color of the rainbow. Better for the environment and your Insta pics.
Highlands Bar and Grill
- 2011 11th Ave S, Birmingham, AL
- Closed Sun-Mon | Open Tues-Sat 5:30-10PM
- Highlands has been wooden stirrers and paper straws in their milkshakes for over a year. They are currently using Hay Straws as a plastic straw alternative which are 100% biodegradable and made from wheat steams!
- 2240 Highland Ave, Birmingham, AL
- Closed Sun-Mon | Open Tues-Sat 11AM-10PM
- Bottega, another Frank Stitt establishment, is also using Hay Straws.
- 2007 11th Ave S, Birmingham, AL
- Closed Sun-Mon | Open Tues-Thurs 11AM-10PM, Fri 11AM-10:30PM, 4:30-10:30PM
- Fonfon, the final of the Frank Stitt trio, also uses Hay Straws. Find out more about them here.
- 5502 Crestwood Blvd Suite A, Birmingham, AL
- Closed Sun | Open Mon-Sat 9AM-6PM
- Crestwood Pharmacy and Soda Fountain now uses metal straws and spoons for their milkshakes + ice cream. And if it’s to-go, they’ll give you a paper straw! So, it’s delicious AND eco-friendly? *slow clap* Soon, you’ll be able to purchase them too.
- Last fall, most UAB Dining Services vendors replaced plastic straws with eco-friendly alternatives. At the same time, they encouraged students to reduce their use of straws. And according to a UAB survey, in the first two and a half months, over 250,000 plastic straws were replaced. Read more on their plan to make UAB a more sustainable campus here.
- 2024 3rd Ave N, Birmingham, AL
- Open Mon-Fri 6:30AM-5:30pm, 8:30AM-4PM Sat-Sun
- New to the downtown coffee seen, Santos Coffee is already gaining traction for their unique and tasty menu. But one of our favorite things is that they use paper straws—the big fat ones that don’t deteriorate before you even finish it! And they also use paper to-go boxes. Check them out downtown across from Sojourns Fair Trade and Reed Books!
Automatic Seafood and Oysters
- 2824 5th Ave S, Birmingham, AL
- Open Sun-Thurs 5-10PM. Fri-Sat 5-11PM
- Another new addition to Birmingham—and one of the most anticipated—Automatic Seafood has recieved rave reviews for their food and service. But, we’re giving 5 stars for their use of stainless steel straws opposed to plastic.
Where to Buy Your Own Plastic Straw Alternatives Locally
- Downtown: 1826 3rd Ave N Unit 101, Birmingham, AL | Open Daily 7AM-7PM
- Mountain Brook: 2510 Park Lane Ct S, Mountain Brook, AL | Open Daily 7AM-5PM
- Octane Uptown: 2221 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd N, Birmingham, AL | Closed Mon — Open Tues-Wed 6AM-7PM, Thurs-Fri 6AM-10PM, Sat-Sun 7AM-10PM
- But first coffee… with a reusable or biodegradable straw, of course. All Revelator locations around Birmingham use metal straws, and you can buy your own for just $2!
- 2921 Highland Ave S, Birmingham, AL
- Closed Mon | Open Sun + Tues 11AM-11PM, Wed-Sat 11AM-12AM *Happy Hours 3-6PM
- At the moment, Rojo uses paper straws and swzle metal straws. You can even purchase the metal straws—which come in a variety of styles and sizes—for $2.
Golden Temple in Five Points South
- Southside: 1901 11th Ave S, Birmingham, AL | Open Sun 12-5:30PM, Mon-Fri 8:30AM-7PM, Sat 9:30AM-6:30PM
- Trussville: 1110 N. Chalkville Road, Trussville, AL | Closed Sunday | Open Mon-Fri 9AM-6PM, Sat 10AM-5PM
- You can purchase metal straws in packs of three at their health store in Five Points South and Trussville. Additionally, make sure you visit their vegetarian cafe attached next door to their Southside location for delicious eats and some of the best vegan sweets around!
The Crunchy Bean from Moody
Shop Mariposah brand bamboo straws online from The Crunchy Bean based in Moody! You can get a pack of 8 straws, a brush cleaner and a carry pouch for $12.99—Find them here.