It was the balloon ban heard ‘round the world.
Moments after The Block Island Times posted on its website that the Town Council had voted to ban the sale and use of balloons on the island, the media calls started to come in. Seemingly moments later, a version of the story started popping up on news outlets all over the country: CBS, CNN, Mother Nature Network, The New York Post, FOX, The Associated Press, The Seattle Times, on a website called Party Worldwide, U.S. News & World Report, and in newspapers in virtually every state.
Some thought the ban was an overreach — too much government in our lives — but most responses were praiseworthy.
The Planning Board, out of which both the balloon ban and the plastic bag ban originated, has immediately set its sights on other forms of pollution, including the ubiquitous plastic straw.
Some restaurants on the island, however, aren’t waiting for an official ban. Mahogany Shoals down at Payne’s Dock got rid of plastic straws last year, and Mohegan Café co-owner Marc Scortino just announced this week that his establishment will no longer put plastic straws in your drink.
A message posted on the Café’s Facebook page stated: “In an attempt to step up our game, the Mohegan Café asks for your understanding as we go straw-less... Plastic drinking straws are another top polluter of the environment and as a high-volume restaurant we would be remiss not to try and do our part to further the island’s reputation as a place where the ecology is taken seriously.”
Then Scortino offered a bit of lighthearted advice: “It’s up to you. Don’t suck. Sip.”
We hope more of the island’s restaurants, and residents, take that advice.