RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Plastic straws are everywhere, but environmental concerns have some local businesses switching away from plastic and moving onto compostable straws.

Ellwood Thompson’s in Richmond made the change this week, and most customers didn’t seem to notice. 

Joan Ko, an Ellwood Thompson’s employee, spoke with 8News about the upcoming change and how the community seems to be reacting to it. 

“We’ve had customers in our community or people that we know be like hey, this is a concern of ours. We want to see compostable straws, we want to see stainless steel straws,” Ko told 8News. 

To continue Ellwood Thompson’s eco-friendly effort, compostable straws are the only ones you’ll find at the market. 

The compostable straws are made entirely from plants and people say that you can’t tell a difference when using them. 

“You’ll have the exact same experience honestly,” Ko explained. “Except you’ll be making less of a negative impact on the earth. It’s very little sacrifice on the customers.”

Ellwood Thompson understands that not everyone will be accepting of the change, but the store is okay with it. 

Customers who spoke to 8News were encouraged and even wondered what else can be done moving forward. 

“I think it’s fabulous,” an Ellwood Thompson shopper, June Lehman said. “I think we need to look for other easy switches that seem like they won’t be a big lifestyle change. To me, this is pretty simple so I think we need to try to find other ways just to do that in our daily routine.”

As for the rest of the county, Seattle will ban plastic straws beginning July 1 and McDonald’s plans to test alternatives.

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