Help the planet with a straw-free August in Budapest


  • Petra Berende

8/3/2018 5:17 PM

It’s the last straw for bars and cafés in Budapest. A planet-friendly campaign is launching this weekend, requesting guests to skip the plastic straws when ordering drinks. The event kicks off at 3pm on Sunday, August 5th with a straw-free toast on Liberty Bridge, closed to traffic for one of its weekend summer picnics. Then through August 21st and beyond, many city hangouts have committed to not offering plastic disposables, a commodity that’s sucking the life out of nature. See where to hang out to support the cause.

Legendary Budapest ruin bar Szimpla Kert, riverfront PONTOON, prime cocktail hotspot KIOSK and the Doblo wine bar are all among the places to have joined the Straw-Free August campaign, taking place citywide in August. As a first step, those who are conscious about the environment meet at Liberty Bridge this weekend to raise their drinking flasks to this green initiative – the event takes place between 3pm and 6pm.

Photo: Csudai Sándor - We Love Budapest

Organised by the local Felelős Gasztrohős Foundation that educates consumers on sustainable gastronomy, the straw-free campaign then goes entirely live on August 7th, involving numerous locales citywide that take part in the campaign running through August 21st. Some cafés, restaurants and bars will implement this eco-friendly practice until the end of the year, and even beyond. Some places will be replacing ordinary plastic straws with varieties that are easier to decompose and don't harm the environment.

Photo: Norbert Hartyányi - We Love Budapest

On average, plastic straws are used for about 20 minutes by restaurant guests and a single item takes hundreds of years to decompose. As they can’t be recycled in most places, this plastic junk often gets into natural waters and poses a great threat to marine life. Major organisations such as WWF have been running campaigns to show how the world is drowning in such waste, affecting species that often mistake plastic for food and end up choking or dying because of the material’s poisoning effect.

Photo: Kőrösi Tamás - We Love Balaton

This is not the city’s first widespread campaign to support a sustainable lifestyle. Last month, joining the global Plastic Free July Movement, many Budapest hangouts encouraged guests not to buy bottled water, but instead use drinking flasks, refilled for free at participating locations.

Earlier this year, the local No Plastic Fantastic association was formed, with the aim of banishing polluting PET bottles, cups, glasses, plates and straws from Budapest venues and festivals.

Here is the list of destinations signed up for the Straw-Free August campaign:

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