Plastic Pollution

Take the first step to protect our oceans from plastic pollution.

In the United States alone, plastic waste averages more than 270 pounds per person each year.
If nothing changes, by 2025 the flow of plastic into the ocean is expected to double.

Baby sea turtles on the beach with First Step logo.

What can we do to help turn things around? Skipping the straw is an easy “First Step” we can all take together.

“First Step” is an initiative designed to help protect ocean and freshwater ecosystems and the animals that live in them by highlighting the dangers single-use plastic straws pose to aquatic life. Approximately 8.8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean from land each year, which equals one dump truck full of plastic per minute – and plastic straws are among the most common types of litter picked up during beach cleanups.

Plastic waste can have a significant impact on marine life. Animals can become entangled, leading to suffocation or drowning. When ingested, plastics can block digestive tracts, leading to starvation.

How you can help
  • Skip the straw if you don’t need one.
  • Ask businesses you frequent to participate.
  • Text LASTSTRAW to 49767 for a seven day plastic reduction challenge.
  • Spread the word in your community.

Read more

Audubon Nature Institute's Efforts

We have made tackling plastic pollution a major priority. Since 2017, we have kept half a million individual pieces of plastic out of the environment by:

  • Eliminating straws at our facilities.
  • Getting rid of plastic bags in our gift shops. 
  • Switching from plastic water bottles to aluminum canned and bottled water.

Participating Businesses

These business have taken the “First Step” to combating plastic pollution by only offering straws upon request. If you are a business interested in joining us in this campaign, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

New Orleans, LA

  • Ace Hotel New Orleans
  • Apolline
  • Audubon Clubhouse Café
  • Barrel Proof
  • Brennan's Restaurant
  • Carmo
  • Carrollton Market
  • Cavan
  • Coquette
  • GW Fins
  • Homegrown Pizza
  • Hot Tin
  • Jack Rose
  • Longway Tavern
  • Meauxbar
  • Miel Brewery and Taproom
  • Mosca's Restaurant
  • Peche
  • Ralph's on the Park
  • Red Fish Grill
  • Reginelli's Pizzeria
  • Ruby Slipper Café
  • Sylvain
  • The Bayou Bar
  • The Silver Whistle Café

Nashville, TN

  • Killebrew
  • L.A. Jackson
  • Marsh House