BC Ferries will be providing paper straws aboard all vessels, while still providing plastic straws on request from passengers. (Black Press file photo)

BC Ferries to switch to paper straws

All vessels will soon carry the plastic alternative and some plastics for passengers who ask

BC Ferries is hopping on board the growing effort to reduce single-use plastics in the form of straws.

As the company awaits the first shipment of paper straws on order, signs have appeared aboard their vessels to inform passengers of the move away from plastic straws.

BC Ferries’s director of media relations, Deborah Marshall, said the fleet-wide initiative was first explored with a pilot project last summer on several ferries serving the Southern Gulf Islands.

READ MORE: City of Victoria considers disposable straw ban

“The feedback we got from customers was very positive, that if there are more things companies can do and our customers can help pitch in to reduce single-use plastics, they’re certainly behind it,” Marshall said.

In the meantime, customers can request plastic straws.

“We do recognize there are some customers who, for a variety of reasons, would like a straw. Whether it’s somebody with a disability or somebody with a young child who might have trouble holding a cup, we’ll certainly have straws available for those folks. It’s about reducing the plastics we use,” Marshall said.

Once the paper straws become available, BC Ferries won’t completely ban plastic straws.

“We will also maintain a small supply of plastic straws. We have heard from some customers with disabilities that paper straws aren’t a preferred option for them.”

Straws are just the first step, as BC Ferries explores other options to reduce its impact on the environment through Sea Forward initiatives.

READ MORE: Victoria first B.C. municipality to adopt plastic bag ban


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