It's the last straw in Clearwater.

  • Clearwater is going "strawless" for the summer
  • Businesses take part in "Strawless Summer Challenge"
  • Frenchy's Rockaway Grill now using paper straws

Solid Waste officials are encouraging restaurants to ditch the plastic straws for the "Strawless Summer Challenge." The goal is to replace them with paper straws. 

Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill is one of many restaurants that made the switch.

"In general, it's a huge use of plastic waste for something that doesn't ever go away," French’s bartender Autumn Scott said. "So we switched to paper straws because they biodegrade quickly and they have less of a negative impact on the environment." 

Clearwater Marine Aquarium officials say Americans use 550 million plastic straws every year, killing thousands of marine animals and seas birds.

"Many of our rescued animals have ingested plastic," aquarium CEO David Yates said. "So we see the end result of the overuse of plastic not just in the water, but in the animals themselves that live in the oceans or the Gulf of Mexico in our case." 

The Strawless Summer Challenge runs from June 1 to Aug. 31.