This Boy Helped Start the Global Movement to Ban Plastic Straws

Read next


From Starbucks vowing to get rid of straws to the plastic straw ban in California, these colorful plastic throw-aways may soon be a thing of the past. But it was a long road for environmentalists to reach this victorious path—and they have one young boy to thank for starting it all.

Milo Cress was just 9 years old when he urged a local neighborhood cafe in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont to stop offering plastic straws to patrons. Cress noticed that the straws, which were stuck in every drink ordered, were often tossed aside unused. “It seemed like a waste to me,” he told The Daily Beast.

Cress decided to approach the cafe owner and propose that they stop automatically giving out straws and only dole them out when requested. He argued that the simple move would eliminate waste, save them money and be good for the environment. “I was worried adults wouldn’t listen to me because I was kid… but I found the opposite to be true.”

It’s been eight years since Cress convinced the owner of Leunig’s Bistro to make a change and become the first restaurant in the nation to enact the offer first policy. In that time several other businesses have followed in their footsteps, including more recently, major corporations like Starbucks and McDonald’s.

As for Cress, his role in helping to ban plastic straws is just one part of what will surely be a lifelong path of innovative ideas. Before his lightbulb idea about straws, he was building a solar-powered popcorn machine at 6-years-old. At age 10 he went on CNN to share his idea for sippy cup-style lids to help replace straws. An idea that has since been adopted by Starbucks as well.

Now Cress is 17, one year away from heading off to college and passionate about all things Artificial Intelligence. This is one kid the world will want to keep its eye one. We predict more great things to come.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: Be Straw Free via Facebook


Say Goodbye to Those Bright Green Starbucks Straws

This Girl Just Might Be the First Human to Reach Mars

This Teen’s Act to Help a Fellow Passenger Restores Our Faith in Humanity

Welcome to our Tinybeans family!
Be sure to check your email for new activities, recipes and parenting hacks – and to see if you’ve won!







Spring Giveaway: Enter to Win a $500 Gift Card!

Enter your email and zip code below for a chance to win a Mastercard Gift Card. We’ll pick one winner per month through August 31, 2022 – 5 lucky winners in all!

I agree to the official rules and I agree to receive email communications from Tinybeans. By providing your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service