Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo

Open Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
$20 adults, $15 children
 

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Open Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
$20 adults, $15 children
 

View All Rates ›
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Stomp the Straw

What are single-use plastics?

Single-use plastics are plastic products that are produced for a one time use. Examples are straws, plastic bags, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles and most food packaging. 

Why reduce single-use plastic usage?
  • We produce roughly 300 million tons of plastic each year and half of it is single-use! World-wide only 10-13% of plastic items are recycled.
  • By reducing single-use plastics, we are greatly reducing the numbers of items that wind up in landfills. In addition to reduction of waste, demand for and production of plastic products will decrease.
  • Single-use plastics are harmful to wildlife and their habitats. Straws are among the ten most commonly found items in waterways and oceans.
  • But can’t plastic be recycled? Yes and no. Check with your local waste management company to see what types of plastics are accepted and what are not.
  • Our actions here in Iowa have a direct impact on the global environment.
Why reusable straws?
  • Plastic straws are among the ten most commonly found items in waterways and oceans.
  • Plastic straws create pollution at every stage of their existence from oil drilling, manufacturing, shipping and distribution.
  • Plastic straws are not recyclable.
  • According to EcoCycle, in the United States 500 million straws are used EVERY day. That number would fill over 127 school buses.
  • There are lots of alternatives to single-use plastic straws - steel, glass, bamboo, reusable plastic and paper are all routes that can be taken on the way to a cleaner environment. Metal and silicone reusable straws are available for purchase at Blank Park Zoo’s Wild Things Gift Shop.
What are some reusable straw options?

There are plenty of alternatives to single-use plastic straws, if you prefer to use one. Steel, glass, bamboo and paper are all routes that can be taken on the way to a cleaner environment. Below are some links to start you down a greener path.

Metal and silicone re-usable straws are now available at the Blank Park Zoo WildThings Gift Shop.

Bamboo options:
Jungle Straws – junglestraws.com

Glass options:
Strawsome – strawesome.com
Simply Straws – simplystraws.com

Hay Straws:
Hay! Straws – haystraws.com

Metal options:
Simply Straws – simplystraws.com
Steeleys Drinkware – steelysdrinkware.com

Paper options:
Des Moines Supply Inc. - iowadesmoinessupply.com
World Centric – store.worldcentric.com
Great Paper Straws - greatpaperstraws.com
Aardvark Straws - aardvarkstraws.com

Pasta:
Pasta Straws – pastastraw.org

Corn Base Plastic (PLA) straws: 
Without access to a commercial composting facility, these straws can take anywhere from 100 to 1000 years to decompose in a landfill. This is why they are not included as a wildlife-friendly option.

How do I start reducing single-use plastics?
  • Do a plastic audit! This will give you an idea of how much single-use plastics you are consuming. 
  • Start small, pick one item that you want to change. Track your progress and make a goal. Remember it’s not about perfection, it’s an opportunity to learn and strive to reduce plastic waste every day.
What is Blank Park Zoo doing to reduce straws and other single-use plastics?
  • Blank Park Zoo is straw free. We do not offer straws or lids. This is for the safety of the animals at the Zoo and to ensure that we are being good stewards of our environment. 
  • There are water bottle filling stations placed around the Zoo. We encourage you to bring a refillable water bottle when visiting.

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